/// Exclusive: Yahoo’s Thompson Out; Levinsohn In; Board Settlement With Loeb Nears Completion

May 13, 2012  |  All Things Digital


Yahoo’s embattled CEO Scott Thompson (pictured here) is set to step down from his job at the Silicon Valley Internet giant, in what will be dramatic end to a controversy over a fake computer science degree that he had on his bio, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The company will apparently say he is leaving for “personal reasons.” But the evolving crisis — which is just over a week old — centered on his botched resume and how he handled the thorny issue is clearly the key reason for the abrupt leaving. Thompson’s likely replacement on an interim basis will be Yahoo’s global media head Ross Levinsohn , who most recently also ran its Americas unit, including its advertising sales. In addition to the management upheaval, Yahoo’s board is closing in on a settlement with the man who discovered Thompson’s misstep, activist shareholder Daniel Loeb of Third Point, said sources. The situation could change, since Yahoo’s full board still has to meet this morning to officially approve the sweeping changes at the long-troubled company. But, if it is, this development goes a long way toward fixing some of what has been ailing Yahoo recently. And it’s also a stunning victory for Loeb, since the pugnacious hedge fund investor is set to get three board seats from a slate proposed by him as part of a proxy fight aimed at Yahoo. The new Yahoo directors will be media exec Michael Wolf and turnaround specialist Harry Wilson. Loeb’s fourth selection — former NBC head Jeff Zucker — will withdraw. The five current Yahoo directors — who were to step down at the company’s annual meeting this summer — will leave the board effective immediately, sources said, to make way for the Third Point selections. Finally, Yahoo’s recently added director Fred Amoroso will be named chairman of the board. Amoroso is the director who has been conducting the investigation into the issues raised by Loeb about how the fake academic credentials got in Thompson’s public bios, as well as in Yahoo’s regulatory filings, and also the hurried circumstances around his hiring in January. Those mysteries — read, screw-ups — might never be solved now, although Thompson made a convoluted attempt to explain it all in two awkward employee meetings at the end of last week, in which he blamed a headhunting firm for introducing the mistake when he was being hired for a job at eBay in the mid-2000 timeframe. That company, Heidrick and Struggles, slapped back with an internal memo noting that Thompson’s claim was not “verifiably not true.” Sources said that Heidrick told Yahoo’s board that it was in possession of a resume submitted by Thompson that he had apparently submitted showing the inaccurate CS degree on it

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Exclusive: Yahoo’s Thompson Out; Levinsohn In; Board Settlement With Loeb Nears Completion



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