/// In 2009 Interview, Yahoo CEO Does Not Deny He Has a CS Degree and Calls Himself an "Engineer" (Audio)
On March 25, 2009, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson — when he was then president of PayPal — appeared on the TechNation radio show to talk about the revival of the eBay payments unit. At the end of the largely charming interview, Moira Gunn asked him a direct question about his college degrees, specifically noting they were in accounting and computer science. “Your bachelor’s degree is in accounting and computer science. Now, from both of those, I mean that’s, that’s pretty obvious that’s PayPal,” asked Gunn. “What are the most important things you learned?” “Yeah,” begins Thompson, failing to correct her at all on the fact that he does not actually have a computer science degree — only one in accounting. Then, he soon went even further, touting his early tech training at his Stone Hill College, near Boston, which did not offer a computer science degree at the time he went there from 1975 to 1979. “And that’s really the background that I have and it started back in my college days and I think that’s really the wonderful part thing of being an engineer is you think that way,” said Thompson. In the most generous interpretation, it’s not quite clear or not if Thompson was saying “Yeah” to her statement of his academic credentials, or if he was not actually listening. But it’s a careless oversight on his part not to have corrected her about the degrees, which could also be said about a computer science degree being present on his bio for more than a half-dozen years at eBay and later at Yahoo without some notice by him. Because, while Thompson has had a long career as a tech exec, as well as a stint as a CIO, academically speaking, a computer science degree did not happen in his college days nor did he graduate as an engineer. That became apparent earlier today when Yahoo confirmed that it included inaccurate information about Thompson’s academic background on its Web site and in its regulatory filings.