Yahoo CEO quits over academic credentials

Yahoo on Sunday confirmed that its chief executive officer (CEO) Scott Thompson has left and the company has named Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO.

Yahoo on Sunday confirmed that its chief executive officer (CEO) Scott Thompson has left and the company has named Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO.

Yahoo said its board of directors has appointed Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO and has named Fred Amoroso as chairman. Both appointments are effective immediately.  “Mr. Levinsohn replaces Scott Thompson, former Chief Executive Officer, who has left the company,” Yahoo announced in a statement.

Thompson, former president of eBay’s subsidiary PayPal, was appointed as Yahoo’s CEO in January 2012. He has been under fire after Yahoo shareholder Daniel Loeb alleged that

Thompson does not have a computer science degree from Stonehill College as claimed in bios from his job at eBay to the position of Yahoo CEO, as well as in regulatory filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

While announcing Thompson’s departure, Yahoo also said that its board has reached an agreement with hedge fund Third Point, of which Loeb is the chief executive officer, to settle its pending proxy contest related to Yahoo’s 2012 annual meeting of shareholders. Loeb has tried to fire some Yahoo directors and install new ones, and wanted to be a new board member himself, but Yahoo previously declined to give him a seat.

Under its board’s settlement agreement with Third Point, three Third Point nominees including Loeb will join the Yahoo board effective on May 16, Yahoo said. Also as a part of the agreement, Third Point, which owns 5.8 percent of Yahoo common stock, has agreed to withdraw its previous board nominations for consideration at the annual meeting and vote its shares in support of Yahoo’s nominees.

As interim CEO, Levinsohn will manage the company’s day-to-day operations, Yahoo said. Before taking the role of interim CEO, Levinsohn acted as executive vice president and head of global media for Yahoo. Levinsohn previously served as the president of News Corp.’s Fox Interactive Media, and held senior management positions with AltaVista, an early pioneer and leader in on-line search.

 

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