Yahoo CEO Resigns and Third Point Wins Proxy Battle
Last week was a tough one at Yahoo. It started early in the week with CEO Scott Thompson trying to sidestep direct accusations that he purposefully introduced false academic credentials that showed he held a computer science degree. Claiming that it must have been some sort of oversight, he apologized to the Yahoo staff and urged them to get on with business as usual.
Despite Thompson’s claim of an oversight, Yahoo did their due diligence and began an investigation of how the false computer science degree appeared in Thompson’s bio and many other documents dating back to his years at Ebay/ PayPal. Although nothing official has yet come out of the investigation, many with knowledge of the scandal were calling for Thompson to step down and alleviate the stressful environment that has been manifesting since the proxy battle began with the Yahoo board and their largest shareholder, Dan Loeb and his investment firm Third Point.
As the pressures mounted throughout the week it looks like Thompson devised a plan to escape seemingly unscathed. Yesterday morning, All Things D reported that Thompson has discovered he is suffering from an undisclosed health issue and has offered his resignation as CEO at Yahoo.
If you remember last week, The Yahoo board also accepted the resignation of Patti Hart who was also involved in the false credential scandal. Hart, who was a director on the board, agreed not to stand for reelection after it was revealed that she claimed to hold a degree in economics and marketing when in fact, she was actually a business administration major.
No doubt these resignations are being celebrated by Loeb and Third Point. They have been fighting for change on the Yahoo board ever since Yahoo passed over on a deal with Microsoft which would have made shareholders a lot of money. At the time, Loeb demanded that he be elected to the Yahoo board. Thompson and the current board members did not agree and this is when the proxy battle kicked into high gear.
Now we are again looking at some major changes at Yahoo. This all comes at a very bad time for the Silicon Valley firm who just introduced huge layoffs and a giant reorganization of their operations at the beginning of last month. Watch for more updates on the happenings at Yahoo as the day unfolds.