At the beginning of the year Yahoo named former PayPal president Scott Thompson as its new CEO, and just a few months later the company has admitted that he doesn't hold a computer science degree as he claims. The allegations were made by investor Daniel Loeb, who discovered that while Thompson did graduate from Stonehill College, he received a degree only in accounting and not computer science. Yahoo confirmed the allegation to AllThingsD, calling it an "inadvertent error" and stating that it "in no way alters that fact that Mr. Thompson is a highly qualified executive."
But it wasn't the only incident: it turns out that Yahoo board member Patti Hart, who helped choose the new CEO, also changed her degree. While Hart claims to hold an economics and marketing degree from Illinois State College, in reality it's in business administration. Of course, Thompson's track record with PayPal — where he helped double the service's userbase — shows that he's likely qualified for the Yahoo job no matter what degree he holds. Nonetheless, the controversy does call into question the company's hiring and vetting policies — though it's not the only one with an issue, as Thompson's imaginary computer science degree also managed to pop up in his bio at PayPal from at least six years ago, according to AllThingsD.
Update: It would seem that the "inadvertent error" explanation wasn't quite good enough for Yahoo. The company is going to be taking some additional steps to ensure that shareholders are kept happy in the wake of the Thompson disclosure. It released the following statement to AllThingsD earlier this evening:
In connection with the statement the company made earlier today about Scott Thompson, the Yahoo! board will be reviewing this matter, and upon completion of its review, will make an appropriate disclosure to shareholders.