Yahoo chief steps down over fake degree row

Yahoo chief executive Scott Thompson has stepped down after a controversy over a fake computer science college degree on his biography.

He is the third CEO to leave the company in three years.

The move is a victory for hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb of Third Point LLC — Yahoo’s largest outside shareholder — who brought the discrepancy to light.

Thompson’s interim replacement will be the company’s global media head Ross Levinsohn, a source said.

Yahoo was not immediately available for comment. Emails sent to Thompson’s official Yahoo email address were already bouncing back yesterday.

The departure of the former president of PayPal who was hired in January, is another blow to a firm that has been struggling to kick-start growth amid fierce competition from Google, Facebook and other internet companies.

Yahoo acknowledged last week that Thompson does not have a computer science degree despite what was stated in his official company biography and in regulatory filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its first-quarter 10-Q filing with the commission on Wednesday, Yahoo said “uncertainties” about Thompson and questions about Yahoo’s “future direction” could make it difficult to attract business.

Loeb has been waging a bitter proxy battle to install four directors on the internet company’s board, which he says is in need of restructuring capabilities and media strategies.

* Reuters


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