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Yahoo forms committee to investigate CEO hiring process

A report says the head of Yahoo's hiring committee has stepped down

Yahoo has appointed three board members to a special committee that will investigate the hiring of CEO Scott Thompson in the wake of revelations that his resume's listing of computer science as a second undergraduate major was false, Yahoo said on Tuesday.

The panel, chaired by Alfred Amoroso, an independent director who joined the Yahoo board in February, will review Thompson's academic credentials and the circumstances around how they were disclosed and reviewed when he was hired as CEO, Yahoo said in a statement.

Patti Hart, the board member who spearheaded the hiring process, stepped down Tuesday, according to a report in All Things D. Yahoo didn't mention Hart in its statement and a spokesman didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Thompson's biography on the Yahoo website and in papers filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said that he had majored in accounting and computer science at Stonehill College. Thompson majored only in accounting, Yahoo has acknowledged.

Activist shareholder Daniel Loeb, who leads the Third Point investment fund, disclosed the discrepancy in a public letter on May 3. The company acknowledged the mistake but expressed support for Thompson's leadership. Later that day, it released a second statement, saying the board would look into the matter.

Loeb also revealed inaccuracies in Hart's resume. The document stated that she held a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics from Illinois State University. Yahoo later acknowledged that Hart's degree was a B.S. in "business administration with specialties in marketing and economics."

The committee's other members are John Hayes and Thomas McInerney, independent directors who joined the Yahoo board in April. Yahoo also hired a former federal prosecutor to act as the board's independent counsel. He is Terry Bird of the law firm Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks and Licenberg.

The formation of the committee was reported earlier Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.


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