Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) Board of Directors member Patti Hart appeared to forget that rule, and along with another degree-related faux-pas, it will cost her a spot on the Yahoo! board following the end of her term this year.
Ms. Hart, who is the chief executive officer of International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT), informed the Yahoo! board that the IGT board requested that she not seek reelection as a Yahoo! director in 2012. But it isn’t quite that simple.
Hart, who claimed a business degree in marketing and economics from Illinois State University that turned out to be simply a degree in business administration, was responsible for the vetting process prior to hiring Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson.
However it turned out that Thompson also fabricated portions of his resume in support of his application for the position. Thompson claimed he held a degree from Stonehill College in computing, when his degree was actually in accounting.
Whether or not you feel one fabrication is worse than the other, Hart is out, while Thompson remains.
The entire college degree fiasco was uncovered and brought to public, not to mention Yahoo! board member, attention by hedge fund Third Point LLC. Third Point activist and manager Dan Loeb have put pressure on the board to relieve Thompson, who came to Yahoo! after running the PayPal operation for eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). Third Point owns a 5% stake in Yahoo! and is looking to fill four seats on the board in addition to relieving Mr. Thompson of his CEO title.
Falsifying a resume is traditionally grounds for immediate dismissal from a company, particularly one that is both public and high profile, but to date Thompson has avoided that fate.
Not so for Hart, who was provided the alibi for her dismissal of needing to spend more of her time and energy running IGT. No such alibi was provided for Mr. Thompson, who will face the shareholders at the next Shareholder Meeting, for which a date has not yet been set.
Written by Assistant Editor Marc Bastow who holds no position in any of the aforementioned securities.