Dan Loeb Confirms Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson Did Not Have A Computer Science Degree
Dan Loeb of Third Point is known for his proxy battle against Yahoo!’s board of directors. Recently in a letter to Yahoo!’s board of directors, Loeb wrote that Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson has inaccurately added a computer science degree to his resume. Yahoo! confirmed that Loeb is right and they called it an “inadvertent error” according to AllThingsD.
Thompson went to Stonehill College from 1975-1979 according to his LinkedIn profile, but he did not specify his major. In his director bio at F5, Forbes, and the Stone Hill College alumni newsletter, it is noted that he graduated only with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. In his bio at eBay and Yahoo!, a computer science degree and an accounting degree was appearing there.
In a letter to Yahoo!’s board of directors, Loeb wrote:
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.
Yahoo! board member Patti Hart vetted Thompson as he was being picked as CEO at the company. Loeb also alleges that Hart changed her degree from Illinois State College from business administration to economics and marketing.
“If Mr. Thompson embellished his academic credentials we think that it 1) undermines his credibility as a technology expert and 2) reflects poorly on the character of the CEO who has been tasked with leading Yahoo! at this critical juncture. Now more than ever Yahoo! investors need a trustworthy CEO,” added Loeb in the letter.