|Sat May 5 2012 10:55:44|
Former PayPal President Scott Thompson Caught in Resume-Gate
By: Ina Steiner
Former PayPal President Scott Thompson is in hot water over his bio that says he received a college degree in accounting and computer science - he only received a degree in accounting. It looked at first like it was a mistake made by someone at PayPal - eBay's SEC filings were correct, but the bio on eBay's management page contained the error. No one has suggested that Scott claimed he had the CS degree on his resume.
The verbiage that stated Scott had a CS degree that appeared on the eBay bio page then made it into Yahoo's SEC filings when Scott became CEO of Yahoo in January. Was it a copy and paste error? Everyone wants to know, how did this happen, and why didn't Scott catch it?
AllThingsD Kara Swisher wrote about an episode in which Scott didn't clarify his degree during an interview.
It might be surprising that someone with an accounting degree refers to themselves as an "engineer" - but Scott did work in IT for years and joined PayPal as its Chief Technology Officer before he was named President.
Are courses in computer science from 1970s an important requirement for running a company? That's not really what the brouhaha is about. What does it say about Scott that he let the error live on eBay's bio page and didn't catch the error when it appeared on Yahoo SEC filings?
More importantly, why did Yahoo perpetuate the error? When Yahoo hired Scott, the company wrote in its offer letter, "Background Check. Please understand that this offer is contingent upon the successful completion of your background check."
And that's why Daniel S. Loeb, CEO of Third Point LLC, who is fighting for spots on Yahoo's Board of Directors, is making a big deal about this. But is Loeb right when he tells the board they must "Terminate Mr. Thompson for cause immediately given his demonstrable unsuitability to remain Chief Executive Officer and a director of Yahoo"?
Here's Dan Lyons (fake Steve Jobs) writing about the hypocrisy of the accusations on the Daily Beast.
Many readers began using PayPal before eBay even acquired it in 2002, and before Thompson joined eBay in 2005. What do you think of Scott Thompson's predicament?
Update 5/14/12: See today's news story, "Which Financial Service Giant Will Snap up PayPal's Scott Thompson?"