It’s an uncanny coincidence; disgraced Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Scott Thompson came forward with claims of a thyroid cancer diagnosis directly before quitting a position he was likely to lose. The ex-chief reportedly presented the new information to the Yahoo Board of Directors and several colleagues over the weekend and, immediately thereafter, resigned.
The maneuver is the latest in a series of suspicious claims made by Thompson, whose integrity was first discredited following the discovery that the Computer Science degree reported on his resume was actually an Accounting degree from Stonehill College (which did not even offer a Computer Science major until four years after Thompson’s departure). His actions since news first broke last week are incongruous and contradictory, begging the question: is Thompson lying to us again?
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He’s certainly acting guilty. Signs of dishonesty areeverywhere, from Thompson’s claim that he didn’t know about the errors (despite years worth of historical articles and press releases citing the Computer Science degree) to new evidence presented by the executive search firm thatplaced him at PayPal (where Thompson was, formerly, President); from an apology memorandum six days ago to employees (in which Thompson said he took “full responsibility” for his actions), to a resignation in which he did not take full responsibility for the scandal at all, admittedly shifting part of theblame to thyroid cancer. And, right or wrong, the quitting before he could get fired tactic won’t help his image, nor will the thyroid cancer story, regardless of its truth.
And, about that thyroid cancer diagnosis…true or not, it is yet another tarnish to Thompson’s integrity. After all, any honest, forthcoming individual would have disclosed amajor illness prior to accepting such a hugely important role. In fact, the thyroid cancer diagnosis doesn’t help Thompson’s image at all. If it’s a lie, he’s a liar, and if he knew but didn’t disclose it prior to taking the Yahoo post, that makes him a liar too.