Yahoo’s new CEO, Scott Thompson, is under fire, and it’s not for Yahoo’s performance. In his resume Scott claimed he was a computer engineer. Turns out that he is not a computer engineer, far from it, and instead has a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Yahoo’s explanation is it was “an inadvertent mistake”. It’s an amazing explanation. How does one ‘inadvertently’ become a computer engineer?
The passage of time can dull one’s memory but an accounting degree becoming an accounting plus computer engineering degree is a lapse that cannot be attributed to memory. No way can memory circuits misfire on such a scale.
People can ‘inadvertently’ knock off a few years from their age, particularly women and men on the wrong side of 50 (and the odd Army Chief in India). But this sort of ‘inadvertent’ error may have more to do with vanity than forgetfulness.
Adding a degree to your qualifications, now that is a bit much. For Scott Thompson it is quite an embarrassment, more so because his college did not offer a computer degree when he was there!
Where does Yahoo go from here? They’ll probably try to brazen it out because good PR strategy escapes large companies when they most need it.
Scott Thompson’s first quarter has been a good one, revenue is up and costs are down, though the new interfaces on Yahoo games are infested with advertising.
Still, Scott could rescue the company that in so many ways is synonymous with the rise of the Internet business. But what if he has to go, as may well happen? That could turn out to be one setback too many for Yahoo.
Steve Ballmer once bid 44.6 billion dollars for Yahoo and was turned down. He could ‘inadvertently’ end up having the last laugh and the option of picking up Yahoo for a fraction of what he once offered.