Yahoo announced on Sunday that CEO Scott Thompson stepped down, only four months into a tenure that appeared dedicated to improving the Internet company's stature as an ad platform. While the company cited "personal reasons," a resume discrepancy that emerged late last week seemed to be at the center of his abrupt departure.
Thompson's resume, at one point, wrongly stated he had received an accounting and computer science degree from Stonehill College in 1979; he in fact only received a degree in accounting. Third Point, a Yahoo investor, brought the error to light and its CEO Daniel Loeb wrote that Thompson had "embellished his academic credentials."
The 54-year-old later apologized, but it appears to have been too little, too late, as Yahoo's board moved on Sunday by naming Ross Levinsohn interim CEO. And Fred Amoroso will replace Roy Bostock as board chairman, the Sunnyvale, CA-based company announced.
For advertisers curious about whether Thompson could return Yahoo to past glory, it seems now that they'll never know. During the two earnings calls in his short tenure, Thompson emphasized how he'd personally speak with brands and agencies to improve their ad campaigns.
"We are not going to be satisfied until we are taking [ad] share," the then-CEO said, less than one month ago while addressing Q1 2012 numbers. Thompson, at the time, wanted marketers to know that he planned to focus on bringing "the best return on their advertising spend. And frankly we got a long ways to go."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014