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Yahoo Has Until Noon to Fire Its CEO - or Else

Yahoo’s biggest shareholder Third Point delivered this ultimatum in a letter to that board Friday

The Yahoo board has until high noon today (Monday) to fired CEO Scott Thompson for cause and to can his confederate in the now infamous "ResumeGate," board member Patti Hart, or else.

Yahoo's biggest shareholder Third Point, which is also engaged in a proxy fight with the company over the composition of Yahoo's board, delivered this ultimatum in a letter to that board Friday.

It didn't say what the "or else" would be merely that if it didn't fire the pair of them Third Point "will consider it grounds for further action."

Third Point said blowing off "years of inaccurate SEC filings, web site biographies and, most likely, D&O questionnaires and curriculum vitae" as "inadvertent errors" - an expression it ascribes to Thompson - was the "height of arrogance" and "insulting to shareholders."

It said Yahoo's decision to investigate the acknowledged resume padding by Thompson and Hart was "too little and months too late."

The ultimatum also demands that Yahoo:

  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 Ms. Hart, 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."

It also wants the board to drop its resistance to Third Point's nominees for the board which include Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb, Maeva Group CEO Harry Wilson, former MTV Networks president Michael Wolf and former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker. Yahoo claims Loeb isn't qualified to sit on the board.

Forbes claims there was no vetting process per se and no head hunter involved, that Thompson reached out to the board after Carol Bartz was fired, that Frank Quattrone may have recommended him and that he got the job "within two weeks of first contact." The magazine heard there were no other candidates.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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