Loeb Demands Yahoo Board Fire CEO by Monday Over False Resume
Now that activist shareholder Dan Loeb has discredited Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s educational credentials and credibility, he’s going full bore after the company’s directors and demanding Thompson’s head.
In a new letter to Yahoo’s board today, Loeb and his shareholder firm Third Point called for the company to disclose details of Thompson’s vetting process and, more importantly, to reveal whether or not Yahoo directors knew of the holes in his academic background. They also demanded that Yahoo fire Thompson and director Patti Hart, about whose academic background questions have also been raised.
From the letter:
Third Point will consider it grounds for further action if the Board does not take the following steps by Noon EDT on Monday, May 7th:
1) Publicly reveal the process by which it vetted Mr. Thompson as a potential CEO candidate. This disclosure should include the release of all minutes of any meeting at which Mr. Thompson’s candidacy was discussed and any reports or other materials upon which directors relied to evaluate Mr. Thompson’s candidacy.
2) Disclose whether any Board member, including Maynard Webb, who has long-standing ties to Mr. Thompson, and Ms. Hart, who headed the Search Committee, was aware of Mr. Thompson’s deception prior to receipt of Third Point’s letter yesterday.
3) Provide shareholders with all information regarding the director nomination process, including the so-called “skills matrix” referred to in the Company’s preliminary proxy statement, which the Board purportedly used to determine the qualifications of various candidates, including Third Point’s nominees.
And, arguing that “irreparable damage” to Yahoo’s culture will continue every day that the board allows Thompson and Hart to remain at the company, Loeb called for Yahoo to oust both of them.
“Permitting Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart to stay with the Company after apparently violating the Code of Ethics sends a message to all Yahoo! employees that a different set of rules applies at the top,” Loeb wrote. “[Yahoo must] terminate Mr. Thompson for cause immediately given his demonstrable unsuitability to remain Chief Executive Officer and a director of Yahoo! and accept the resignation of Ms. Hart for similar reasons.”
The full letter is below.