Guess it's tough being a CEO these days – especially at Yahoo – where their latest chief executive is out after a paltry four months.
You’ve probably heard the story by now. Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is stepping down 10 days after it came to light his resume listed the wrong degree from Stonehill College – he earned an accounting degree rather than a computer science one. Thompson, of course, blamed the headhunters who tracked him down while they pointed their fingers back at him. Either way, he’s done.
And to make matter worse, Yahoo board director Patti Hart’s also out - it turned out her official bio listed the wrong degree as well. (She’s the board member who led the committee to hire Thompson in the first place.)
He’s certainly not the first high-profile CEO to find himself collecting unemployment after a botched resume. As the Associated Press reported this week, he’s just the latest in a litany of liars.
In 2006, RadioShack CEO David Edmundson quit after he admitted he didn’t even have a college degree – despite claiming he had a pair of them.
In 2002, the CEOs of both Bausch & Lomb and Veritas Software resigned after they both claimed MBAs neither of them had.
Even our own vice president, Joe Biden, had to drop out of the 1988 presidential campaign after he ’fessed up to plagiarizing as a law student and making up some of his academic achievements.
The list goes on.
Clearly, some of these offenses are more egregious than others, but, at least in Thompson’s case, what difference does it make? The guy had proved his worth by running PayPal, where they’d hired him from. Besides, based on my experience with IT departments, I’d rather have an accountant running my company than computer guy.
Or maybe because, as a writer, I appreciate the creativity involved in some of these cases I'm a little biased.
Or is the simple act of lying enough here? Are there any shades of gray when it comes to resumes, job applications or, these days, LinkedIn profiles? Or does the simplest lie, typo or clerical error make the entire applicant null and void? Doesn’t real world experience still count?
What’s your policy? Do you even have one? I’d love to hear your experience with damaged resumes or disastrous interviews – especially if you were the offender.