Yahoo CEO out after degree row
Los Angeles, May 14, 2012
Yahoo Inc is replacing its CEO for the third time in as many years, and giving three board seats to a hedge fund led by Daniel Loeb, putting him in a strong position to influence strategy at the struggling Internet company.
Chief Executive Scott Thompson stepped down on Sunday, 10 days after Loeb accused him of padding his biography by faking a computer science degree. Loeb's Third Point is one of Yahoo's largest shareholders with a 5.8 percent stake.
Yahoo did not give a reason for Thompson's exit but said the company's global media head, Ross Levinsohn, will be interim CEO. It also said it had settled a proxy battle with Third Point and will nominate three of the fund's slate of four candidates to the board, including Loeb.
Thompson's departure after just four months on the job throws into question the future of Yahoo as it struggles to revive growth amid fierce competition from the likes of Google and Facebook, and produce a long-term strategy to convince investors to reverse its share slide.
Yahoo recently resumed negotiations to sell all or part of its more than 40 percent stake in Chinese Internet and e-commerce company Alibaba back to the Chinese company, after torpedoing a previous plan to do a complex tax-free transaction.
"This is a big victory for Third Point. It strengthens their argument that this board was dysfunctional, and it's going to increase Third Point's ability to shape the direction of the company," BGC analyst Colin Gillis said. - Reuters