Reportedly employee morale at Yahoo is at an all-time low, with that dark ominous cloud of unemployment still hanging over the heads of many. But as Yahoo continues to slash its workforce in an attempt to reverse its flagging fortunes a new blight has struck the once mighty Internet giant, a controversy surrounding recently-hired CEO Scott Thompson’s educational history.
You see, while many Yahoo employees are no doubt scrambling to prepare their resumes in the face of almost guaranteed unemployment (although when Yahoo inevitably goes under those first out the door may soon be considered the fortunate ones) it looks like Thompson has doctored his own CV, claiming he holds an undergraduate degree he never earned.
In the grand scheme of things its small potatoes, I know, but given the volatile environment within Yahoo this minor indiscretion has set off an explosion of discontent, speaking volumes regarding Thompson’s leadership, ethics, and character leading to many Yahoo employees (and shareholders) calling for Thompson’s job.
I always have to chuckle when CEOs or other corporate bigwigs are caught in a lie, as their respective company’s spin doctors are immediately set to task to cover it up, explain it away, or, in the worst case scenario, justify the heck out of it. It looked for awhile last week that Yahoo’s own PR team would choose the first option, as save a simple company statement everyone remained tight-lipped. Then came the explanation, in which a Yahoo spokesperson claimed the resume snafu was based on a computer error, something that will be remedied and investigated before an official explanation would be given to shareholders.
While we still are waiting for things to get bad enough for Yahoo’s spin doctors to start the justification process, I would bet it won’t be too far off, given what E-Commerce Times writer Richard Adhikari has already uncovered.
It seems that problems with Thompson’s resume were already present back in 2008, when he was the president of PayPal, as his bio on eBay clearly indicated he held duel undergraduate degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill, when a simple internet search will tell you that really he only holds an accounting degree from that institution. Further, almost certainly evidence that Thompson knew what he was doing, even before the resume scandal the Yahoo CEO indicated he had such a computer science degree in an interview with TechNation back in 2005.
Of course the official word from Yahoo is that regardless of the findings of the investigation launched into the Resume-Gate scandal Thompson is still well qualified for the job, but should it be found that his resume has been doctored for years it calls into question both Thompson’s character and his ethics, two points that now have Yahoo employees up in arms.
For Yahoo this controversy couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the company is trying to right its ship by jettisoning jobs all the while trying to keep employee morale from turning mutinous. The situation is made that much worse by the fact that much of this discontent is being fostered by Yahoo’s own shareholders, investor groups attempting to make a bid for power in the struggling company.
In the end, should the company fire Thompson it will once again find itself rudderless and adrift, should it keep him, it may find itself at the bottom of the sea.