Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson has pulled a Jonah Goldberg to explain away the résumé scandal that's surrounded him this week. Like Goldberg, who blamed his publisher for touting two Pulitzer Prize nominations he was never received, Thomspon is claiming someone else fudged his credentials according to anonymous sources who spoke to Reuters and Business Insider.
Reuters' Alexei Oreskovic has him saying he didn't submit a résumé at all. But according to Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson Thompson has an even lamer excuse than that: Someone else put his non-existent computer science degree on there. Blaming others is definitely the way to go, guys.
Per Carlson, here's how Thomspon's CEO got that faked computer science degree, which has board members calling for his firing:
Thompson is telling employees that before he was placed into a job at eBay subsidiary PayPal in 2005, he had an interview with an executive placement firm.
During this interview, Thompson says he did NOT say he had degree in computer science.
But after the interview, says Thompson, this executive placement firm produced a document that said he has a degree in computer science. Thompson is telling Yahoo employees that he did not review this document.
That it took Thompson a whole week to respond with an excuse is already suspicious. Thomspon had apologized earlier this week. But not for lying. Rather, in another lame move, for the distraction. And that followed the first attempt at moving beyond the scandal, when Thomspon called it an "inadvertent error."
As none of that has stifled his critics, he's now moved onto the next phase of crisis control, elaborating on his original excuse, covering every single one of his missteps. Apparently, that document created in during his PayPal interview got used for lots of bios none of which Thompson read. Who doesn't read their own Internet bios? Thompson has that covered, too. "He is admitting to Yahoo employees that yes, he probably should have reviewed all these bios and documents and that not doing so was a mistake," wrote Carlson. He also explains why he didn't correct an NPR interviewer who used it to describe the CEO in an interview. "He is saying that he did not say 'yes I had that degree,' and was only answering the question. He is also suggesting that it is a little awkward to correct someone in the middle of an interview," writes Carlson. Wouldn't he wonder where this interviewer got that information? Also, the media, usually double checks on this sort of thing beforehand.
All of this still conveniently falls under that "inadvertent error" category, as Thompson didn't know about any of it. Instead, he has put the blame on an anonymous junior employee at an anonymous executive placement firm, none of which could exist. Though, Carlson suspects this went down Heidrick & Struggles as this possible employment firm.
Now that Thompson has responded, will he finally silence all those angry people who want him out? The board has already started pondering replacements, suggesting Ross Levinsohn, the guy who got News Corp to buy MySpace, or the now CFO Tim Morse. It's almost as if they had been looking for an excuse to fire him. And with the employees, media and board all riled up, Thompson's new excuses might not be enough to save him.