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February 2, 2023

Sometimes an Accounting Degree Just Isn’t Enough

Like when you've been telling people that you also have a computer science degree, when in fact, you don't have a computer science degree (at least in the traditional sense) and then someone – in this case, Third Point founder Dan Loeb – sorta notices:

May 3, 2012
 
Board of Directors
Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
 
Dear Board of Directors:
 
According to the Yahoo! Form 10-K/A, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 27, 2012, newly-hired Chief Executive Officer, Scott Thompson, "holds a Bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science" from Stonehill College.  This assertion was repeated in the Company's draft proxy statement, also filed with the SEC on April 27, 2012, as well as on the Company's website (http://pressroom.yahoo.net/pr/ycorp/scott-thompson.aspx).
 
A rudimentary Google search reveals a Stonehill College alumni announcement stating that Mr. Thompson's degree is in accounting only.  That announcement is consistent with other documents (including filings with the SEC) that reflect Mr. Thompson received a degree in accounting, but not computer science. 
 
Upon recognizing this discrepancy, Third Point initially assumed that the documents we had reviewed were incorrect and the representations in Yahoo!'s public filings were accurate.   However, we were then informed by Stonehill College that Mr. Thompson did indeed graduate with a degree in accounting only.  Furthermore, Stonehill College informed us that it did not begin awarding computer science degrees until 1983 — four years after Mr. Thompson graduated.  We inquired whether Mr. Thompson had taken a large number of computer science courses, perhaps allowing him to justify to himself that he had "earned" such a degree.  Instead, we learned that during Mr. Thompson's tenure at Stonehill only one such course was even offered – Intro to Computer Science.  Presumably, Mr. Thompson took that course.
[via Third Point via DB]

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