False Bio Forces Out Yahoo CEO

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Internet company Yahoo has its fourth CEO in less than four years, after chief Scott Thompson left the company amid a controversy about his academic record.

Yahoo on Sunday named the company’s global media head, Ross Levinsohn, as its interim CEO.

Thompson leaves Yahoo after just four months as chief executive. The company’s stock price has fallen nearly 4 percent since he took over, but had surged in recent weeks following better-than-expected quarterly earnings.


A major Yahoo shareholder accused Thompson of lying about his background by listing a computer science degree he never earned. The reference appeared on his official Yahoo biography and in regulatory filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yahoo initially called the reference an “inadvertent error” but later appointed a special commission to investigate the discrepancy. Thompson sent a memo to company employees apologizing for the distractions of the situation.

Under investor pressure, Yahoo’s announcement Sunday covered a wider shakeup that includes several seats on its board of directors.

Yahoo was once a leading Internet company, but has struggled in recent years while companies like Google and Facebook flourished. In 2008, Microsoft withdraw an offer to buy Yahoo for $33 per share — more than double the value of Yahoo’s shares at the close of trading Friday.

Before his departure, Thompson had begun implementing a reorganization of Yahoo that included cutting 2,000 jobs.