Fake degree brings Yahoo! CEO Thompson down

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Fake degree brings Yahoo! CEO Thompson down

Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson has agreed to step down from the role immediately, following a week of controversy surrounding a biography that falsely claimed he had a computer science degree.

The company issued a statement confirming Thompson’s departure, saying simply that he had "left the company".

Yahoo! had earlier been expected to state that Thompson has left for “personal reasons” after the board met Monday, the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital blog reported Sunday. 

Thompson joined Yahoo! in January, replacing Carol Bartz, who was fired last year. 

Daniel Loeb, CEO of investment firm Third Point, has spearheaded the attack on Thompson and Yahoo! after raising questions about Thompson’s resume last week.

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The saga has already seen Patti Hart, the director who led the company's search for Bartz's replacement, vow not to seek re-election to the board.  

Yahoo! last week appointed a special committee to review the circumstances leading to Thompson's appointment.

While Thompson has apologised to Yahoo! employees for the distraction caused by the “inadvertent” addition of the computer science degree, his efforts to push blame for the erroneous item onto others failed last week.

The recruitment firm that was the alleged source of the error, Heidrick and Struggles, claimed to be in possession of a resume submitted by Thompson that shows it was not responsible for the inaccuracy, All Things Digital reported.    

Another question that remains unanswered is how the fake degree ended up on Yahoo’s regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. 

Yahoo! has appointed its current head of global media, Ross Levinsohn, in an interim CEO role.

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