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Yahoo’s New CEO is Toast: WSJ

Thompson’s reportedly stepping down after a mere four months on the job

Yahoo’s so-called ResumeGate has reportedly claimed its short-lived CEO Scott Thompson.

In the midst of Mother’s Day – when, as she says, everybody’s at brunch – All Things Digital’s ace reporter Kara Swisher, who seems to know everything that goes on at Yahoo, said Sunday – based on what she’s been told by “multiple sources” – that Thompson’s stepping down after a mere four months on the job.

She says he will ascribe his departure to a suddenly discovered illness, presumably another fib unless he means the incurably massive migraine he must have developed since activist shareholder Daniel Loeb discovered Thompson exaggerated his bachelor’s degree and gave himself joint computing science and accounting credentials from a school that didn’t offer computing science courses.

Thompson can blame not only the lie but the way he handled the mess and depressed the Yahoo rank and file’s morale even more than it already is. Yahoo employees largely rejected his excuses.

It was not a good idea to blame an “inadvertent error” since the claims were easily found to go back before PayPal, where he was president, or to apologize for the “distraction,” not the fib, or to try to shuffle it all off on headhunter Heidrick and Struggles, which he reportedly blamed for introducing the error back in eBay days.

The headhunter reportedly took grave exception to that allegation and – for the benefit of the Yahoo board – pulled out an old resume Thompson gave them back in mid-2000, depriving him of any remaining credibility.

Kara says he will probably be replaced by Yahoo’s global media head Ross Levinsohn, who also recently ran its Americas unit, including ad sales.

She’s double-checked his resume and says it stands up to scrutiny. He used to be president of News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media responsible for the day-to-day operations, strategy and acquisitions. He also had turns – going back a ways – at AltaVista, the search pioneer, CBS Sportsline and HBO and co-founded and ran Fuse Capital, an investment and strategic equity management firm focused on digital media and communications companies.

Kara also says the Yahoo board, which was meeting this morning, is prepared to give Loeb most of what he wants: three seats on the board, one. for media exec Michael Wolf, another for turnaround specialist Harry Wilson and one for Loeb himself.

Loeb’s fourth candidate, former NBC head Jeff Zucker, will reportedly withdraw.

The five current Yahoo directors — who were supposed to step down at the company’s annual meeting this summer — will reportedly leave immediately.

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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