Entrepreneurs Agree: Yahoo Had to Get Rid of Thompson
Scott Thompson stepped down abruptly as Yahoo CEO this weekend amid a controversy over inaccuracies in his official biography--specifically, charges that he padded his academic record with an additional degree in computer science.
Inc. asked several entrepreneurs if they thought Yahoo should have stood by Thompson after the inaccuracies were made public. Here are their responses:
David Evans | Founder and CEO, EasySeat
When someone is willing to allow something like a college degree to be falsified, it bring to light serious questions about that individual's integrity in all cases, significant or not.
Riley Gibson | CEO, Napkin Labs
We live in a hyper-connected, social world where anyone can check the facts you present about your career or education. Executives at any company have to be completely transparent about their backgrounds and past experiences. There's nowhere to hide on the Web, and that's a good thing.
Tom Searcy | Founder and CEO, Hunt Big Sales
In a company, when the leader's integrity is in question, all of his or her decisions will subsequently be in question. The board had to fire him.
Paul Spiegelman | Founder and CEO, The Beryl Companies
Business is about relationships and relationships are about trust. Once your integrity is questioned, you'll never be able to earn complete trust as a leader.
Vanessa Merit Nornberg | Founder, Metal Mafia
[This kind of controversy] sends a signal to customers that the company they are doing business with does not trade on honesty and integrity. If the accusations of a padded resume are true, Yahoo did the right thing by sending a strong signal that this kind of embellishment will not be tolerated.
Les McKeown | Founder and CEO, Predictable Success
Any executive found lying about their resume should be fired—with cause—immediately. Not least because it's the right thing to do, but more importantly, because the board has a fiduciary duty of care to its stockholders. How can the board trust them to have been truthful about everything else, now or in the future?
Keith Cline | Founder, Dissero and VentureFizz
Your resume is expected to be 100% accurate, no matter how long ago something happened. It is [about the] trust factor and having false information on a resume is getting things off on the wrong foot.
Josh Linkner | CEO, Detroit Venture Partners
Letting him stay would send the message to the team, customers, and investors that dishonesty was acceptable under certain circumstances. Even if this was a minor blunder, it happened on Thompson's watch, so proceeding without holding him accountable would have been irresponsible.
Paul Schoemaker | Founder, Decision Strategies International
I would discuss it with the CEO to understand why this occurred, and try to ascertain if the person understands why it casts a large shadow of doubt on him. Whether this concludes with a public mea culpa, a voluntary resignation, or a forced dismissal would depend on other specifics.
Nancy Mobley | Founder and CEO, Insight Performance
When completing a job application, a candidate typically agrees that falsified information will be considered justification for dismissal, whenever discovered. If the company were to terminate other employees for such a violation, they should also terminate Scott for the same violation.
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