Yahoo Investor Demands CEO's Firing
The major Yahoo investor who exposed an inaccuracy in Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s academic credentials called for his ouster Friday in a letter to the company’s board of directors. Activist hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb rejected Yahoo’s explanation of the misrepresentation as an “inadvertent error,” demanding the board fire Thompson by noon ET Monday or face possible legal action.
"Mr. Thompson and the board should make no mistake: this is a big deal. CEOs have been terminated for less at other companies,” stated Loeb, who holds a 5.8% stake in Yahoo through Third Point LLC, in his letter to the board.
Yahoo Thursday confirmed that Thompson had only received an accounting degree from Stone hill College, not also the computer science degree shown in the executive’s bio and reported in a Yahoo filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. EBay listed only Thompson’s accounting degree in SEC filings while he worked at PayPal, where he served as president before joining Yahoo in January.
Yahoo Friday reiterated its Thursday statement that the board is reviewing the matter and, “upon completion of its review, will make an appropriate disclosure to shareholders.” The company announced the review after initially referring to Thompson’s CV inaccuracy as inadvertent.
Loeb had confronted Yahoo with the information in a separate letter sent yesterday as the latest escalation in a proxy fight his firm is waging against the company to gain control of the board. Yahoo appointed four new directors in March, rejecting an alternate slate proposed by Third Point and including Loeb.
Yahoo shares closed Friday at $15.15, down 1.6%.