January 25, 2022

Perhaps Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Should Start Sending His Résumé* to Accounting Firms

Yesterday we learned that Third Point boss Dan Loeb wasn't all that impressed with Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's credentials. It wasn't that he was all "meh" about Thompson's accounting degree, but rather that Scottie's computer science degree was not what one would consider "real." This has a lot of people pointing, laughing, judging, and Yahoo's flimsy response has not amused Mr. Loeb:

Mr. Thompson and the Board should make no mistake: this is a big deal.  CEO's have been terminated for less at other companies. […] Mr. Thompson, in particular, cannot possibly have any credibility remaining with the all-important Yahoo! engineers, many of which earned real – not invented – degrees in computer science.

Along with the dressing down, Loeb outlined a list of actions that he'd like to see Board of Directors take by high noon on Monday:

1)     Publicly reveal the process by which it vetted Mr. Thompson as a potential CEO candidate.  This disclosure should include the release of all minutes of any meeting at which Mr. Thompson's candidacy was discussed and any reports or other materials upon which directors relied to evaluate Mr. Thompson's candidacy.
 
2)     Disclose whether any Board member, including Maynard Webb, who has long-standing ties to Mr. Thompson, and [Board Director Patti] Hart [who has some fibbing of her own to address], who headed the Search Committee, was aware of Mr. Thompson's deception prior to receipt of Third Point's letter yesterday.
 
3)     Provide shareholders with all information regarding the director nomination process, including the so-called "skills matrix" referred to in the Company's preliminary proxy statement, which the Board purportedly used to determine the qualifications of various candidates, including Third Point's nominees.

4)     Terminate Mr. Thompson for cause immediately given his demonstrable unsuitability to remain Chief Executive Officer and a director of Yahoo! and accept the resignation of Ms. Hart for similar reasons. 

Should the Board comply with Loeb's requests, that would mean that Scottie would be on the search for a new job and it's likely that he would be ostracized from the tech community. But thankfully he's got that REAL accounting degree to fall back on! Of course there's the question of where he should work and that's where you people come in. People make mistakes and here in America we love a good comeback. So which firm should Scottie make his rebound with? Please explain your answer.

*Leaving the Computer Science stuff off, obviously.

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