Business, Economics and Jobs

Patti Hart resigns over Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's botched academic records


A worker moves a section of a Yahoo! billboard onto a truck in San Francisco, California. The company has seen its first resignation in the wake of the scandal over CEO Scott Thompson's botched academic record: board director Patti Hart.


Justin Sullivan

Patti Hart, the Yahoo director who led the efforts to hire CEO Scott Thompson, has agreed to not seek re-election to the company's board in the wake of the scandal over Thompson's botched academic record, All Things Digital reported Tuesday

Hart is also the CEO of International Game Technology, which makes electronic gaming equipment, and sources told All Things D that her company's board asked her to remove herself from the Yahoo scandal to focus on the company she actually runs. 

Hart and Thompson first came under scrutiny last week, when activist investor and owner of Third Point Capital hedge fund Daniel Loeb raised questions about Thompson’s academic career and the process Hart and her committee used to hire Thompson as Yahoo's CEO, according to the Washington Post.

More from GlobalPost: Yahoo shareholder accuses CEO Scott Thompson of exaggerating academic credentials, calls for sacking

Loeb, whose company owns a 5.8 percent stake in Yahoo, found out that Thompson had listed a fake degree in computer science in his biography, when in fact he only an accounting degree from Stonehill, a Massachusetts college, the International Business Times reported

Hart also fudged her credentials, according to the IBT: her biography states that she "holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics from Illinois State University," when in fact she has a degree in business administration.

Thompson came forward to apologize yesterday via an e-mail to Yahoo's employees, WebPro News reported

“As I told you on Friday, the board is reviewing the issue and I will provide whatever they need from me," wrote Thompson, who has yet to be dismissed. "In the meantime, I want you to know how deeply I regret how this issue has affected the company and all of you.”

Some have described Thompson's reaction to the scandal as him being "defiant over the issue, and as blaming Loeb for conducting a personal vendetta," All Things D reported. 

More from GlobalPost: Yahoo board: Four directors leave in shakeup

It remains unclear if any other Yahoo executives or members of the tech company's board will resign or be dismissed, according to WebPro, though many believe Thompson will soon be fired. 

“Sentiment from employees is unanimous that [Thompson] must go,” a Yahoo employee told All Things D. “He clearly knew and lied for years; and his handling since exposed has been unacceptable.”

On Monday, Third Point called on both of Yahoo's directors to quit within five days, as well as demanded to see all documents that led to Thompson's recruitment from eBay, where he was president of PayPal before working for Yahoo, according to the International Business Times.

Yahoo declined to comment on Hart's resignation. 

What do you think about Yahoo's CEO's falsified academic records? Let us know in the comments. 

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