Scott Thompson's inflated resume helped win him his current job as Yahoo CEO. And now it's reportedly led to the end of a job as well -- just not his own.
The Yahoo director who led the search that ended in Thompson's appointment, Patti Hart, will not stand for re-election to the board at its next annual meeting, All Things D reports. Hart, the CEO of slot-machine maker International Gaming Technology, will apparently take the fall for what ATD's Kara Swisher termed "a clearly botched vetting of [Thompson's] academic record.
In case you've been living under a rock, the Yahoo CEO has been taking heavy fire ever since activist investor Daniel Loeb pointed out last week that Thompson's resume listed an undergraduate computer-science degree he had never received. Loeb, who is prepping a proxy fight aimed at placing a slate of new directors (himself included) on Yahoo's board, demands that Yahoo turn over all records related to Thompson and the search process.
The resulting firestorm -- in which already anxious Yahoo employees have vented their ire freely, if anonymously -- is just the latest conflagration for Yahoo. The onetime Internet pioneer was already reeling from a steady decline in the relevance of its site, the looming proxy battle, and an ill-advised patent offensive against Facebook launched in March.
Thompson, named CEO just four months ago, was supposed to lead the turnaround -- though even before the resume controversy erupted, his progress had been slow. So far, in fact, his main moves have been to lay off 2,000 employees and to reorganize the company into three amorphous groups.
Oh, and to sue Facebook for patent infringement, a move that pretty much wiped out whatever goodwill toward Yahoo still remained in Silicon Valley. Which helps explain why Thompson is in such hot water over one line on his resume.
So far, however, Thompson has shown no sign of doing much beyond issuing pro forma statements of "regret" over how the issue has affected the company and employees. So it's intriguing that Hart, who heads up the Yahoo board's nominating and corporate governance committee, appears to be the first casualty of this affair.
Loeb, if you'll recall, also targeted Hart for misrepresenting her academic credentials -- specifically, a claim that she had a "bachelors in marketing and economics" instead of the business-administration degree she actually possessed. (Yahoo later confirmed Loeb's allegations.)
I've pinged Yahoo for comment, and will update if and when I hear back.
Announcement of Hart's decision to leave the board will come later today, Swisher wrote. So will official notice of a board investigation into Thompson's hiring and his misleading resume, to be headed by independent director Fred Amoroso (known to CNET readers as one of the likely inspirations for Yahoo's turn toward patent-trolldom).