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Yahoo CEO Bio Debacle Results in First Casualty and an Apology Letter

Scott Thompson

The recent revelation that there was false information in Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s bio has claimed its first victim, and has him issuing apology letters.

It was revealed last week that recently appointed Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s official bio contained false information.  Since then things have been silent externally, but it was fairly well known that a lot was going on internally.  Today we’re starting to see some of the results.

All Things D acquired a copy of an email Thompson sent to Yahoo employees on Monday:

Yahoos:

I wanted to share some additional thoughts with you related to the disclosure of my academic credentials.

As I told you on Friday, the board is reviewing the issue and I will provide whatever they need from me. In the meantime, I want you to know how deeply I regret how this issue has affected the company and all of you. We have all been working very hard to move the company forward, and this has had the opposite effect. For that, I take full responsibility, and I want to apologize to you.

In my note Friday, I said I would be focused on continuing to do what needs to get done. That’s because I feel I owe it to all of you to make sure that nothing disrupts the progress we’ve made in just a few short months due to all of your focus, commitment, and hard work. As you’ve heard me say many times, we have a tremendous business with incredible assets, and we can win by putting our customers first. The progress I shared with you in the first quarter should make clear that we intend to move fast and deliver on the potential of the business for our customers, shareholders, and all of you.

I know the board plans to conduct the review thoroughly and independently, and I respect that process. I am hopeful that this matter will be concluded promptly. But, in the meantime, we have a lot of work to do. We need to continue to act as one team to fulfill the potential of this great company and keep moving forward. You have my word that all my energy and attention will be on that mission.

Scott

This morning it was learned that Yahoo board member Patti Hart – the person who headed up the committee to find a new CEO – has stepped down from her position.  Hart is the CEO of International Game Technology, and while nothing has been said publicly, sources have told All Thins D that her company requested she step away to distance herself from the scandal and focus on the company she runs.

It is suspected that Hart won’t be the last casualty of this controversy and an announcement will be made soon that an outside law firm has been retained to investigate the matter further.

[via All Things D]
Update: As we were finishing this post, Yahoo officially announced it has formed a special committee to get to the bottom of this scandal.
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Yahoo! Board of Directors Forms Special Committee to Review CEO Academic Credentials

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — The Board of Directors of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced that it has formed a special committee to conduct a thorough review of CEO Scott Thompson’s academic credentials, as well as the facts and circumstances related to the review and disclosure of those credentials in connection with Thompson’s appointment as CEO.

The special committee is chaired by Alfred Amoroso, an independent director who joined the Board in February of this year. The other members of the special committee are John Hayes and Thomas McInerney, independent directors who joined the Board in April of this year.

The special committee has retained as its independent counsel Terry Bird of the law firm Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks and Licenberg in Los Angeles. His firm has been recognized as one of the most respected specialty litigation firms in the country, focusing on litigation and internal investigations. Mr. Bird is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, and has also served on the President’s Judicial Advisory Committee for the Central District of California.

The special committee and the entire Board appreciate the urgency of the situation and the special committee will therefore conduct the review in an independent, thorough and expeditious manner. The Board intends to make the appropriate disclosures to shareholders promptly upon completion of the review.

Important Additional Information
Yahoo! has filed a preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and will be filing a definitive proxy statement with the SEC in connection with the solicitation of proxies for its 2012 annual meeting of shareholders. Shareholders are strongly advised to read Yahoo!’s 2012 definitive proxy statement (including any amendments or supplements thereto) when it becomes available because it will contain important information. Shareholders will be able to obtain copies of Yahoo!’s 2012 proxy statement, any amendments or supplements to the proxy statement, and other documents filed by Yahoo! with the SEC in connection with its 2012 annual meeting of shareholders for no charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the proxy materials may also be requested from the Company’s proxy solicitor, Innisfree M&A Incorporated, by telephone at (877) 750-9499 (toll-free) or by email at info@innisfreema.com.

Yahoo!, its directors, executive officers and certain employees are deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders in connection with Yahoo!’s 2012 annual meeting of shareholders. Information regarding Yahoo!’s directors, executive officers and other persons who, under rules of the SEC, are considered participants in the solicitation of proxies for the 2012 annual meeting of shareholders, including their respective interests by security holdings or otherwise, is set forth in the preliminary proxy statement Yahoo! filed with the SEC on April 27, 2012 and will be set forth in the definitive proxy statement for Yahoo!’s 2012 annual meeting of shareholders when it is filed with the SEC.
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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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