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February 3, 2023

Accounting Degree Holder Scott Thompson May Not Be in a Rush to Find a New Job

Last week we learned that Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson, who had given the impression that he was a holder of not one, but two degrees (CompSci and Accounting) only managed to, in reality, be the holder of said accounting degree. This misrepresentation has upset a few people, most notably, Third Point founder Dan Loeb whose funds hold over 5% of Yahoo! shares. After the revelation that Scottie's résumé wasn't too hottie, Mr. Loeb put a number of demands in writing that were to be met by noon yesterday included the firing of Scott Thompson. Given all the facts, this seemed like a reasonable request.

It is now Tuesday ~5:30 pm EDT and we do have a half-assed apology and the assurance that Yahoo! Board Member Patti Hart – who was in charge of the CEO search committee who vetted Thompson – would not stand for re-election to the Board. Yet, at this hour, but Scott Thompson remains employed by Yahoo! Because conventional wisdom tells us that it will only be a matter of time before ST turns in his papers or is informed that his services are no longer needed, we suggested last week that he start floating his résumé around to accounting firms, since he was obviously smart enough to study something that he could fall back on when the CompSci jig was up. However, we now learn that despite Scottie's ineptitude when it comes to honesty, he's a pretty shrewd negotiator:

Thompson already has walked away with millions from Yahoo shareholders. That's because Thompson negotiated a "make-whole" bonus to compensate him for the cash and equity he walked away from when he left his job as president of eBay's PayPal unit. That included: 
  • $1.5 million in cash
  • $5.5 million in restricted stock units which vested on March 15, 2012
  • $1 million in restricted stock units which will vest on March 15, 2013
Those awards have clawback provisions which would let the company reclaim those amounts—but only if Thompson quits, not if he's fired.
So, you can expect Scottie to sit tight until March 15th of next year or until he's given the boot. And at a minimum, he's got $7 million to sit on while he decides to whether to open up a chain of H&R Blocks or legally change his name and have extensive plastic surgery so that he can work in tech again.

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