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Yahoo CEO might have lied about having CS degree (marketwatch.com)
282 points by loverobots on May 3, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 205 comments

Sort-of off topic: That guy has nothing on some of the other infamous CEO career lies... take the ex-CEO of Lotus (former makers of 123, Lotus Notes, etc). He lied about being a fighter pilot, having a PhD, and being a black belt in tae kwon do. source: http://www.zdnet.com/news/background-of-lotus-chief-under-fi...

I think people get to a point where they start to believe their made-up mythology. Or perhaps they reach a point where it's too late to turn back. That's what I learned while getting my PhD in Lying Studies at University of Fountainhead, anyway.

"It "gave us confidence," says Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Wilkerson, former commander of the Marine Corps Reserve, who increased purchases of Lotus Notes after meeting Papows. "Jeff was a Phantom driver just like me.""

This is exactly why people lie, because it doesn't matter how well your software works, what matters is that the people buying it feel like you're on the same team. Whether the CEO is a fighter pilot or not should be immaterial to purchasing an MTA.

My pet theory is that some people lie in order to "shield" other people from their own biases. For instance, let's say Indians have a reputation of being sloppy programmers. If I was a great Indian programmer and I knew about this reputation, I'd probably be tempted to lie about my nationality when applying for a remote job.

Female authors have used this strategy for a long time by using male pen names.

As someone in "the media" I often have to get in touch with people at companies to see if they want to speak at things or because I need to do some coverage of them and.. perhaps 9 times out of 10 if there's no address, detailed "About Us" page, or bio pics on the site, the company is very unlikely to be located in the US, while attempting to look like they are. I think it's sad they have to do this, though.

>>let's say Indians have a reputation of being sloppy programmers

Firstly, you assume that Indians are sloppy programmers. And then you conclude?

>>I'd probably be tempted to lie about my nationality when applying for a remote job.

I am an Indian and I'm proud of my nationality. I would never lie, rather I'm proud to be associated with a nation and culture whose history dates back to the cradle of human civilization.

It's ironic and also a little sad that by your poor reading comprehension skills, you sort of confirm or reinforce a point that he wasn't even making at all :/

So kamaal's response wasn't totally on point but I don't see why s/he has been downvoted to oblivion

Prefixing "Indians have a reputation of being sloppy programmers" with "let's say" doesn't totally take the sting out.

I'm not Indian but I still winced when I read it

This is why i usually try to use some made up nationality/country in things like this. It's too easy for things to get distracted from your point by things like this. My personal favorite is Elbonia for any possible hypothetical country, [almost] everyone knows it isn't real and is just an example.

I take offense to the notion that Elbonia is just a hypothetical country.

I think olalande could have avoided the Indian reference. I too winced a bit when I read it a few hours earlier.

I also winced at the overt & embarrassing nationalism of kamaal, good that he just stopped short of singing the national anthem :-) (but don't agree with the down voting his comment to oblivion).

And also at the second part of your sentence, was unnecessary. That completes my nit pick. Woof!

Edit: A description would help, if you down vote a perfectly civil comment of mine.

It is a thought experiment

Another thing too: what does it matter if you lie about the degree if /you can do the work/ ? Sure, it's unethical and I'm pretty sure it's illegal to lie outright about stuff like that to potential employers / boards, but again, if you come out and say "hey, I lied about this, but judge me on my output and not on my credentials"...that's gotta be worth something. That said, Yahoo isn't doing great, and I'm sure people will point to this as one reason why :\

I'm happy to judge somebody on their output and not their credentials. But when their output includes lying about their credentials, I'm definitely going to judge them on that as well.

maybe the ability to lie is a core value of becoming a ceo :)

Being able to lie and not get caught might be a core value in the psychopath model of corporate leadership. Getting caught in a lie makes one a poorly qualified psychopath.

I think it's just next level in the game: when you lie and get caught, how easily can you shrug it off and carry on. Not everyone can do this with a straight face. Politicians can. They're good at that.

Like Hilary Clinton getting shot at. I'm still shocked that she was let off after "well... I have those memories". That would have been the end of my political career.

Your comparison to politics has me wondering how he could blame this lie on his competitors or their CEOs.

All humans lie, whether intentionally or not. Eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable simply because our brains do so much data compression when recording events and then unreliable, subconscious extrapolation techniques to play it back. That's before we even get to intentional manipulation. There are five lights and all.

I could see how being more consciously aware of the distortions would make one better at manipulating media narratives and organizing complex groups of people. It would seem to have less to do with being a psychopath and more to do with being smart enough about how people work to recognize your own flaws.

"eyewitness testimony" being wrong is vastly different from someone intentionally fabricating credentials. "That's before we even get to intentional manipulation." I know you're aware of the difference, but the terminology is, to me, pretty clear.

'Lying' implies some intentional deception. While saying something that is not factually true is part of that, the intention, motivation and awareness of the person would constitute whether it was a 'lie' or not. At least, to me, it's always been that clear.

Yes, that's quintessentially the problem, Yahoo is looking for legitimacy while the company fails.

Our system of governance places a huge value on these sorts of papers as it self fulfils the prophecy that the governance tells us. Our leaders cling to legitimacy by pieces of papers to excuse the poor results.

I mean if the guy who could name all the shadows on the cave couldn't run the company, then obviously the crazy guy who keeps talking about the sun should never be allowed to run it, especially since he lied about being able name all the shadows. Let's put him in jail and find someone who really can name all the shadows and prove once and for all that naming the shadows is really really important.

While abilities are important, being able to trust someone is almost certainly more important.

If he never claimed the credential then I would be more than willing to judge him on his accomplishments.

Lying about the credential wipes out his accomplishments, at least as a C level steward of shareholder value and employee well being. He is demonstrably unethical and I would not feel safe working for him. I would never give him my money, because while he may be able to demonstrate past success, that does not imply that he won't fabricate a ponzi scheme in the future to prop up stock prices and options.

You shouldn't need to lie about your credentials if you can do the work.

I have a degree in International Relations and a minor in Latin American Studies. I'm a software engineer. I still put my degree and qualifications on my resume but have never felt the need to lie or stretch the truth because I feel my skills speak for themselves. I was hired at my current job because I was able to demonstrate skill regardless of my limited previous experience and lack of C.S. degree.

I too have the most unusual of degrees for a software engineer and UI designer. I majored in Psychology and Textile Technology (with a focus in fashion and apparel management). I'm also a few credits short of a math minor and a physics minor.

It's a very unusual combination of coursework and the depth and breadth of that experience coupled with the unique perspectives I earned as result are more of an asset than a liability, especially when many people I encounter have similar backgrounds in computer science. Intellectual contrast provides value, because it highlights things that are often overlooked.

Take Steve Jobs and Apple for example. Steve enrolled in a liberal arts college, dropped out and then dropped-in on creative writing and calligraphy classes. He later said of the experience, "If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts."

People should own up to things like what they majored in in college. On the other hand, I don't think majoring in accounting is really the kind of person that Yahoo needs right now since it's the bean counters and pencil pushers that completely did that company in. Hopefully this guy has some other relevant experience that Yahoo could use, but something tells me that's unlikely.

That being said, it's still inexcusable for any company and any executive to push such egregious lies into corporate filings that are used by others to make investment decisions. If a company wants to lie about the background of their executives on the About Us page that is one thing, but to knowingly misrepresent information in legal documents is beyond the realm of megalomania and into the realm of legally fraudulent.

I agree - and I'd say you also do a disservice to the industry and your peers when you lie about credentials.

Businesses should know that people with degrees in humanities who put in the work can become competent programmers. It might also make them more willing to interview and hire people with this kind of academic background who have put in the work.

I wouldn't hire someone who lied on their resume, as I like to be able to trust people I work with.

Lying matters at least a little bit, dontcha think?

Because you screw over people who are just as if not more able than you to do the work but who simply aren't out of control liars.

On a personal level I've always found lying and dishonest behavior repugnant.

But looking at it more objectively, it's an opportunistic strategy. Usually it is associated with short term wins and long term losses.

I tend to focus on long term strategies in life. Been working well for me and I'm happier, healthier and wealthier, and increasing as time progresses. It's a good place to be!

Because lying is immoral behavior and the only reasonable response to catching someone in a lie is to trust them less.

i think the General was making a joke here (which is actually quite funny). The joke is based on a double entendre of Phantom--one meaning is of course imaginary and the other refers to the nickname of the famous USMC and USN fighter plane, the F-4, in service from circa 1975 to about 1990.

In other words, the General is saying "jeff was an imaginary pilot" and "i was an F-4 Phantom pilot"--which he (Gen. Wilkerson) actually was.

Or, the head of admissions at MIT: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-04-26-mit-admiss...

No question she was good at her job, but it's a real problem when you're in charge of any kind of hiring to ask your applicants to be honest if you're not honest yourself.

Maybe it isn't a problem, but actually something that makes her good at her job? I'd trust a long-time liar to recognize other liars better than an honest person, any day.

People always make this mistake. "Sure, she's a snake, but she'll be our snake". Yeah, right.

Pfizer's shareholders most certainly regret the day when the company thought Mary McLeod, their global head of HR, who was their snake, was a great hire.

A most interesting, alas lengthy, read about the whole sordid affair and why it may be a bad idea to hire a snake (or a multitude of them) can be found here : http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/28/pfizer-jeff...

[edit: grammar]

by that logic, may be we should hire ex-cons for law enforcement? they'd probably make better cops than 'normal' people?

See White Collar Fraud: http://whitecollarfraud.blogspot.com

From the author's disclosure:

"I am a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I helped my cousin Eddie Antar and other members of his family mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered during the 1980's. I committed my crimes in cold-blood for fun and profit, and simply because I could. If it weren't for the heroic efforts of the FBI, SEC, Postal Inspector's Office, US Attorney's Office, and class action plaintiff's lawyers who investigated, prosecuted, and sued me, I would still be the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie today."

Not a very good analogy, as ex-cons already underwent punishment and hopefully some reflection. Also, if I follow your logic, then that will ruin Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can for me.

Completely offtopic, and I don't mean anything negative about you when I say this, but I'm always interested in the response when people attribute a director to the success of a movie based on a book.

Did you know that the movie was based on Frank Abagnale's book (also entitled "Catch Me If You Can", or did you just prefer Spielberg's version?

Especially in this case, where the movie is so close to the book, it's questionable. Just like in Sin City, the adaptation is so true to its source material, if you liked one, you're pretty well assured of liking the other.

Hey no problem, a fellow cinephile here. And yes I knew it was on a book but did not read it. I liked the movie for a whole set of reasons (For instance, Christopher Walken's performance) but reading the book would definitely have affected how I value the director's work. I had a similar discussion with my uncle, who is a writer and director, about another movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo (The original version, not the American adaptation). My uncle read the books; I didn't. I really liked the movie, and found the plot rather satisfying to some degree, but my uncle hated it, and said the director simplified things to an alarming extent, losing all the interesting details that made the books successful. So I think reading the books is a good habit if one wants to judge the director's intention, but sometimes I just don't have time.

Update: I reread your question, and I think you want to know if directors are taking too much credit which ought to go to the book writer? I think in this case we might disagree about the director's function, which I think goes far beyond the intricacies of the story.

Thanks for the reply.

As for the clarification, I was more concerned with people attributing the derivative work with the credit of the movie moreso than the director on the whole. I probably only phrased it how I did since you used Spielberg's name directly.

The thing I find irritating (on a grander scale, not pertaining to you, specifically) is when cases like this arise where the movie rides the success of the book.

I get that it's probably specific to people who have read the book vs. people who haven't, but I'm usually interested enough to ask, as sometimes there are cases when directors take the movie to a level the source material didn't, just as there are times when a director is unable to take good source material and turn it into a good movie.

Thanks again for the insight.

I think there is a very fine line between a criminal and a cop per say in mentality. Good cops will know what to look for in criminal behavior and good criminals will know how to look out for cops; not all cops - but I would say its a fine line between the best of both worlds.

Could be the reason double agents are so valuable.

The difference is a thin veneer of legitimacy.

The good ones are already doing consulting work for the cops, FBI, military, intelligence, etc. There are countless books and movies and news reports about this, from organized crime informants, document forgers, computer/network hackers, international espionage, heist masterminds... the list goes on and on.

The majority of crooks - the 'ex-cons' you're talking about - are just shitty petty criminals or violent idiots, and get caught and punished. Why would anyone hire a shitty crook to do counter-intel against a job they failed at previously?

"It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." -- Lyndon B. Johnson referring to J. Edgar Hoover.

"I'd trust a long-time liar to recognize other liars better"

Hmm. If that is the case then it pays to hire some liars soley to review applications. (After thoroughly vetting them of course and making sure they are not lying about lying to get the job.)

Welcome to ABC, Inc. In these two cubicles we have our vetting department. One screener always tells the truth, while the other always tells a lie. If you could only ask one question... oh never mind.

Lying on a resume doesn't require any inordinate skill -- just loose ethical standards.

It's a big problem when your job involves withdrawing acceptance letters if you find out they lied about their prior education history, which happens fairly regularly.

> No question she was good at her job

Out of curiosity, why do you say so? Not that the dishonesty would make her necessarily bad at her job, but what made her good at it?

She picked me off the waitlist.

Really - she was the Dean of Admissions for a very long time (I think she was at MIT for 28 years overall, something like that) and while I can't remember her personally any more, I know that she had a strong rep both inside the administration and in the related professional community as well. If you're going to be Dean of Admissions, I'd have to think MIT is one of the most prestigious schools in the country for that post, especially when you consider it doesn't allocate large quotas to legacies the way some other top schools do.

Former Ivy Admissions officer who was at Princeton the year before she resigned from MIT. Elite College Admissions is a really strange scene. There are Masters degrees and other credentials that people earn to move up to deanship's, but the actual job itself is completely bureaucratic and mechanical in nature. There were people in my office who'd been there for 20 years and sure, they'd read a lot more applications than me, but they had basically the same exact job as I did. Read applications, visit schools, vote on students twice a year.

So the concept of needing a fancy degree to do the job always seemed pretty funny.

Well, while I do think the idea of giving priority to legacies is pretty stupid and give MIT credit for that, I have other problems with their admissions process (I'm admittedly a bit biased as an MIT reject -- though to be fair it would sound like you are too). I know a decent amount of people at MIT, and while some of them definitely deserve to be there, there are a lot of others that I think don't, and got in for what I think are pretty superficial reasons.

You always were one of my favorite students.

smoody! brudgers! It's been too long man, let's catch up?

Yeah. This is an uninteresting lie relative to the more grandiose ones told by other executives. He added "and Computer Science" but accurately stated the level of his degree and institution. Any evidence that he has added "and Computer Science" in the past? Perhaps this is just sloppiness on the part of whomever prepared the SEC filings? And, the CEO, busy with trying to right the ship, just signed off with only a brief review? Given that I've never heard of the college and that he actually obtained a bachelor's degree, it doesn't seem like a very interesting lie.

Actually, I think this is an interesting lie for a different reason. Look at their no. 1 competitor, Google. They had a PhD in computer science as CEO and now a guy who well on his way to a PhD came up with an algorithm that, as far as I can tell, revolutionized search. Why did this Yahoo guy lie? Maybe he felt pressure to keep up with the Google guys, and thought a modest lie about a B.S. in Comp Sci would do the trick while going undetected. It might be sign of the times--that PhDs and PhD-equivalents are heading large companies. And a funny misread too--their 2nd foremost competitor in search was founded by a dude without a B.S. at all.

Addressing your other points: I feel like a CEO should be aware of how he/she is being perceived and correct any mistakes about his/her record.

Makes you wonder about the evolutionary pressures at the top of the corporate food chain, doesn't it?

Bruno Sorrentino was briefly Telstra's head of Research (a very prestigious position in the day) but claimed a PhD in physics. However, his staff wanted to read his thesis, and couldn't find it. That's the problem with faking a PhD, I guess.


We had a nice one in France. A small criminal (convicted for fraud, theft, setting fire...) was hired as the director of a small airport. He pretended to be a aviation engineer, a former army pilot and to have taken part in many wars. Everyone was completely satisfied with his work during 3 months, when he was finally caught.

The issue here is not whether or not he's qualified for the CEO spot. It's whether he has been signing off on SEC filings that he knows contain falsehoods. In particular, there's information in the proxy statements that shareholders are supposed to use as the basis of their voting and their support for executive compensation. If he's lying about this, how are shareholders supposed to trust the rest of the SEC filings he signs off on as CEO?

(Also, if it's ok for him to lie on his resume and keep his job, does that mean anyone applying to Yahoo should feel free to do so?)

From the proxy statement: "Mr. Thompson has served as our Chief Executive Officer and President and as a member of our Board since January 2012. Mr. Thompson served as President of PayPal, a division of eBay, Inc., an internet auction and shopping company, from January 2008 until January 2012. [clipped prior jobs out] Mr. Thompson holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. Mr. Thompson was selected as a director nominee principally because, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and President, he has in-depth knowledge of the Company’s operations, strategy, financial condition and competitive position. In addition, Mr. Thompson has a deep understanding of global online businesses, experience in transforming business models to deliver growth and increased value, and experience in integrating customer experience with innovative technology. Mr. Thompson also possesses strong organizational and operational skills."


> If he's lying about this, how are shareholders supposed to trust the rest of the SEC filings he signs off on as CEO?

I'm not sure how I feel about statements like this. On the one hand, yes, you probably do not want such a brazen liar leading your company. But on the other hand, we as a society tend to believe in a dangerously inaccurate theory of character. Namely, that people are either inherently moral or they aren't. Liars or truth-tellers. Good or evil.

In reality, life isn't so simple. Studies have shown that when people are faced with moral dilemmas, situational factors play a larger role than "character". Obviously we all know people who are relatively upstanding. But when it comes down to it, it's not that difficult to put them into a situation where they'll be willing to lie, cheat, or steal. You just need the right combination environmental factors, and they don't even have to be that extreme. It's basic stuff like incentives (which in the CEO world includes million dollar bonuses), chances of getting caught, harshness of punishment, etc.

Long-story short, if we really care about improving behavior, we should stop looking for signals of "trustworthiness". Instead, we should just assume that everyone is capable of lying, whether they've been caught lying before or not. And we should engineer a system that removes incentives for cheating + makes it more difficult to do so.

Most good leaders are liars. Some are blatant, like this guy. Others are on hazier "grey area" things, things that will be true if the leader and those below him are indeed successful.

That said, lying on something this simple should be a fire-able offense. It is a misrepresentation of the facts of what investors are paying for. It isn't an promise that was not kept or an area that is grey and up for interpretation.

Perhaps if no one in the history of Yahoo has been fired for lying about credentials, then he could get a pass. Does that sound like a likely reality?

I find this whole thing personally interesting, because I had my own in and out experience with owning some Yahoo shares. I thought long and hard about their CEOs. It was clear to me that Carol Bartz was incompetent. When she left and there was no instant replacement, I realized the board had no idea what they were doing either and I sold all of my shares. At the same time I thought, what type of person would agree to become the CEO of Yahoo? Certainly, all the deep talent capable of working there are smart enough to have a job at Google, Facebook, or any number of very promising start ups. Now I have my answer: a blatant lair.

I think you're reading more into this than I meant. I don't think this necessarily means he lies perpetually in life, etc, or has poor moral character. But it's hard to ague that it doesn't raise the issue of "you know he was willing to lie on this document that you're trying to use to make investment decisions -- which calls into question the entire document since he's to some degree its 'author'".

There is, a system that removes incentives for lying - as CEO he has to certify the contents of these documents, with specific penalties. Obviously, those penalties aren't sufficient motivation for him, so you can't expect they were more effective elsewhere in the doc in spots that that have even more incentive for him to lie than his college degree.

I agree with you mostly. I'm not saying that we should trust him regardless of his lie, only that we shouldn't blindly trust others just because we haven't caught them lying yet.

Exactly that subject was a topic of a recent Planet Money: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/04/17/150815268/why-peop...

If liars are fired, isn't that a pretty strong incentive?

Lying on your resume should get you fired. Lying on SEC filings should get you imprisoned.

Lying on SEC filings should get you imprisoned.

This costs me a lot of money, and I don't want to give free money to people just because they are dishonest. Ban the guy from being the CEO or a board member of a publicly traded company for 10 years. Inexpensive and an appropriate punishment for the crime.

Let's reserve prison for people that absolutely cannot integrate with normal society.

Just fine the equivalent of their combined earnings(salary, bonus, and any stock options) for the years that they lied on SEC forms. The people don't have to spend money in taxes imprisoning them, and it provides enough deterrence to just not do it.

All you'll be doing then is turning him into a high-priced industry consultant or public speaker. Not that prison always prevents that (See: Michael Milken) but it at least puts the brakes on it for a few years.

More than that, I believe. That would also create a good incentive to avoid lies for the rest of executives.

Haven't there been studies proving that a prison sentence is a poor deterrent? I mean, on the face of it, the fact that there are still prisons full of criminals sort of points in that general direction. (At the very least, it shows that people do a poor job of comparing risk of prison vs. reward of wrongdoing.)

I was referring to "ban the guy from being the CEO for 10 years", not prison sentence.

As for prison effectiveness - that's a huge question that I'm just not qualified enough to discuss. I think US is a bit too zealous in this regard, but I'm really not ready to advise here.

Milken is an interesting case. He literally created the market for high yield ("junk") bonds, and a lot of the charges the feds threw at him were because creating a new market meant breaking stupid regulations about yields and such.

I'm not anti-Milken by any means, but based on Connie Bruck's "The Predator's Ball", Drexel Burnham Lambert was scurting a lot of regulations when it came to appropriately labeling the types of deals and securities in which they were engaging. Milken might not have been running any blatant frauds or insider trading rings, but he was at the very least misrepresenting DBL's activities and or avoiding proper filings altogether.

Regardless of whether they're stupid or not, they're still regulations. Unless he was breaking the laws as a form of civil disobedience, he was still basically a guy breaking the rules to make more money.

Let's reserve prison for people that absolutely cannot integrate with normal society

Are you really making the case that no white-collar criminals should go to prison? I guess I can see where you're coming from, but I personally think that we need more financial fraudsters behind bars. You know, the whole "rule of law" and "deterrence" business.

Personally, I think "deterrence" has an incredibly awful success rate. I also think that, if prisons should even exist, they should only be for physically dangerous people. Never for "money" crimes. Being locked away from society for years, your life destroyed and likely abused or even raped seems beyond "cruel and unusual" to me.

Personally I think the whole concept of prison is primitive and should be done away with. If someone is violent then they have something wrong in their head and should be treated. I know that currently asylums can be worse places than even prisons, but once we move away from this draconian "people must suffer so I can feel better about wrong in the world" strategy we can move much more focus on getting treatment and detection right.

Being locked away from society for years, your life destroyed and likely abused or even raped seems beyond "cruel and unusual" to me

You know that politically-correct killjoy who always speaks up about how distasteful and offensive prison rape jokes are? I'm that guy.

That seems like a compelling case for reforming the prisons into a place where you're punished for your infractions against society, but not abused or raped. Prison shouldn't completely destroy someone's life, either. We need to have meaningful ways for prisoners to re-enter society as productive citizens. Otherwise, things never get better.

> If someone is violent then they have something wrong in their head and should be treated.

This is not always possible.

But we could try. What good does it do to lock them in a cage?

If they're untreatable, locking them up in the cage doesn't do them any good - it does society good.

As someone looking in to USA society from outside - it certainly seems that at least investigating non-incarceration methods for dealing with most of your "prison population" would be worthwhile. There's a gigantic industry entirely funded by taxpayers - there's no doubt at least some of the "military industrial complex $1000 hammer" type behavior going on. That industry is legally required to "increase shareholder value", rather than minimize the cost-to-the-taxpayer.

The prison system shouldn't be about either "increasing shareholder value" or "minimizing cost-to-taxpayer". It should be about rehabilitation, justice, and public safety.

Part of the problem is that it's really hard to win an election against someone who has positioned themselves as "harder on crime" than yourself. As a result, we have legislators pushing for tougher and tougher prison sentences, mandatory sentencing, etc. I don't know how other countries deal with this pressure, but I would be eager to see the United States do better.

Your counterpoint is way off topic… What you're saying about the business of prisons here is 100% true, but you could increase prosecution (and imprisonment) of white collar fraud by 10X and the effect on the overall US prison population would be small.

This is probably more about our overcrowded jail system sucking up huge amounts of taxpayer money. The point is likely supposed to be that its one more person in jail, which is bad, but because that person happens to be a CEO, suddenly its about how he shouldn't go to jail because he's a CEO. It's a matter of unfortunate implications.

If we decriminalize recreational drugs and release all of people imprisoned for non-violent drug charges, we'll have more than enough space for crooked executives.

Just a friendly suggestion.

"Let's reserve prison for people that absolutely cannot integrate with normal society."

To do that, we'd have to find an effective alternative to prison. Financial / professional penalties are clearly not enough - if the penalty for getting caught in a crime that makes you millions of dollars is just paying some penalties, why not take that gamble? From a purely rational standpoint, it would be the logical thing to do - if you win, you make millions, if you get caught you just cough up the money.

Dan Loeb's letter doesnt say he lied on his resume, does it say that somewhere else? I feel like Im missing something.

He himself prepares his resume, while some flunkie is writing his bio in documents. The former would prove he was a party to fabrication, the latter would need additional information.

It's such a stupid lie as well. He already has a degree in accounting and has loads of relevant experience. Why lie about an additional degree?

What's happening here is liar's debt. Early in his career he must have made a decision to lie about his education, when no one was looking and when the chances of someone verifying the claim were low. He reused the lie on every subsequent job and it's stuck with him. It became encoded in the DNA of his professional reputation and he could not disabuse himself of it without making himself look the fool.

Now if the lie is recent and was used to get the head job at Yahoo - well then it's an even stupider lie. Why risk your professional reputation over something so trivial?

Cutting him some slack, its possible that his accounting degree had a significant computing component and he decided to bring this significant aspect out. My degree is in Biological Sciences, but in my third year I specialised almost entirely in molecular biology. Informally I'm sure I've said 'I did molecular biology at university' - although on my CV I've always listed Biological Sciences.

Except it says that at the time he attended the college, they only offered 1 degree in computers, "Intro to Computer Sciences" and didn't start offering computer science degrees for another 4 years.

Exactly. Only one introductory computer science course was offered. Which is strong evidence that it's a complete fabrication rather than an honest mistake.

Not necessarily indicative of anything -- maybe he spent his time working on the dats processing system sued by the accounting and finance departments.

"I work in the IT industry for 5 years now, so I guess I have a CS BS somehow."?

Math is NP hard! Let's go searching!

While having an accounting degree != being an accountant, accountants are typically held to a higher ethical standard than other professions.

I don't know if Thompson is an accountant, but the perception of a lying accountant running a public company does not bode well for long term investor confidence.

My case is similar but different. My M.A. diploma says Geological Sciences. But it would be misleading to think I know anything at all about rocks. I studied geophysics and I put M.A. Geophysics on my resume. That is more accurate, and people in the field know geophysicists from my university by reputation, without caring about the trivial detail that our degrees are in "geological sciences".

Biological sciences is pretty similar to molecular biology. Accounting is not quite as similar to computer science.

True, my point was that is possible that the accountancy course was an unusual one, in that it had a large computing component.

> Why lie about an additional degree?

While Computer Science degrees are common these days, they were rather rare among people who graduated in the '70s. So it does make him stand out among those with the same level of seniority (for a CEO position he's not competing with recent college graduates, you know).

Note that they are in a proxy fight to get their nominations to the board of directors, opposed to the company's recommendations. So their motives are to increase the value of their stock through getting more control of Yahoo. A short term dip in the price will just get them to buy more.

Regardless of motive, the allegations are true. Yahoo has admitted so.

For those unfamiliar, this is Daniel Loeb's MO [1]. When he first purchased his share in Yahoo he fired a similar round at the board of the time, headed by Roy Bostock. [2] Still, lying about your education is pretty serious, and Thompson should answer the charges.

[1] http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/bizfinance/finance/features/10...

[2] http://www.scribd.com/doc/64278509/YHOO-20110908-SC13D-0

Seems like a useful sort of guy to have around. Certainly he's going to have more effectiveness than the SEC in keeping Yahoo's financial disclosures accurate.

I'm curious as to why they made this document public. If I owned almost 6% of Yahoo!, I wouldn't do anything that would publicly make Yahoo! look even worse. I would discretely contact the company and have it dealt with quietly.

Additionally, why bother lying? I doubt Mr. Thompson got the job due to his 20 year old CS degree at a tiny liberal arts college.

They may look to own more of the company - but at a lower price. A story like this could cause the stock to dip - especially if seen coming from a 5.8% minority owner. A large enough stake that it looks like they are concerned, but small enough that they don't have the direct access to Yahoo! to rectify.

Going further, a dark knight takeover strategy is to quietly pool the shares that multiple companies have -> into one company that then owns a majority stake or has enough votes to exert decisions in their favor.

I'm not saying this is the intent here, but one of the first steps down the path.

This tactic will most certainly get the SEC on you. There is a reason why they (the SEC) force those who own or 'control' 5% or more of a publicly traded company to disclose that ownership or control.

you can still make money when a stock is going down - its called shorting or short selling.

Internal politics? Maybe they'd like the CEO and some directors to leave.

They might want Y! to sell chunks of it (Alibaba stake) just so the hedge fund sells their 6% out while the YHOO share price presumably jumps.

But lying about the degree, and that's easily verifiable, just doesn't look good for him.

They actually said they used a Google search to find the info. That is quite entertaining.

Funny thing is, there's another great article on the HN front page right now by a former Inktomi engineer who began to recognize Inktomi's demise, in part, when he saw that Intomi's engineers preferred to used Google's search over Inktomi's. Even more coincidental, Yahoo was the one who eventually bought Inktomi.

That part made me wonder how exactly they went searching for it. Do they have some standard checklist for companies they own and they have interns go down the list - 'ok, I've checked the legal database and he has no bankruptcies on file, next, step 73: Google to see whether his college days are mentioned anywhere..."?

What I love about these lies - if this one in particular is indeed a lie - is it's a textbook exmample of why you don't lie. Everyone fixates now he's a CEO. However, he probably introduced that little "stretch" when he was a relative nobody. So you put it on there, get your first "Snr Manager" job. Then you get promoted to "Director" and someone says "Yeah, give it to Frank. He can talk to the business people and the engineer's because he has a Comp Sci degree - that's right right Frank?" "Yep, that's right" Just keeps snowballing. Fast forward 20 years and you're CEO of a large public company and they're crawling all over you. I think may of the the embellisher's started when they were relatively unknown and it's hard to get off the train.

I'm amazed that anybody gives a shit about this. It's a line on a résumé about a degree he earned 33 years ago. If he was 2 years out of college then lying about his degree would be material to his qualifications and compensation. After 30 years, what possible difference does it make? He is clearly qualified.

You missed the part where the lie is also on SEC filings. This exposes the entire company to liability. In this case it also gave a bullet to one faction during a war for the board.

These are not the situations you want a CEO creating, no matter how they do it. That it's all from a relatively petty lie makes it all the more aggravating I'm sure.

Also, just to be clear:

I think the breach of ethics should be a big deal. We've grown too used to the idea that if you profit it's ok to commit some small deceptions. It's an acceptance that harms us all.

Its a sign of poor character. Lying on your resume is inexcusable for CEO of any public company.

Well lying about something that can be so easily checked is certainly silly - but lying convincingly to customers shareholders, regulators and investors is surely the whole point of being a CEO?

Otherwise we would just let the engineers run the company!

Hm, an accountant who lies. Running a public company.

Even with strict accounting controls, investors are going to have trust issues with the financial statements.

Many posts mention that he lied on his resume, Dan Loeb's press release didn't mention that. Did I miss something?

If it turns out -he- lied about his background, or knowingly let it slide, then I agree with all of you. But I'll wait for a response before forming an opinion.

Not all the facts are in yet. CEOs rely on others to prepare documents. It is -possible- that the person at paypal who wrote his bio made a mistake, that someone at yahoo just copied the paypal bio, and that he never noticed the mistake.

I think that unfortunately this type of lying is so common and accepted that this case isn't exceptional. Its a relatively harmless lie compared to most. I would assume that many top executives, including this one, make less harmless lies on a daily basis.

What people fail to understand is that our entire way of life, the whole concept of business and finance, is based on deception and at the very least withholding of accurate information.

I have a B.S. in Computer Science and B.S. in Mathematics (a double degree). Had I taken fewer courses, I could have had a combined B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics (a double major).

I haven't seen a double degree like mine very often, but I have seen the latter form on a LinkedIn profile where Googling for his name returned a university web site showing that the person actually had a minor, not a second major, in Mathematics.

It's true that degrees are not comparable and colleges have different standards of difficulty. Students may be able to convince advisers to count one course for multiple majors. And degrees are not a great measure of applicable skill.

However, if you want to get a degree, double degree, double major, or triple major, you should follow the procedures at your college before you graduate, rather than just adding it to resume many years later.

As another example, a classmate created his own major to take more Business and Psychology courses and fewer C.S. courses; he lists the degree like a triple major, which is very misleading.

> I have a B.S. in Computer Science and B.S. in Mathematics (a double degree). Had I taken fewer courses, I could have had a combined B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics (a double major).

It's worth noting that with "holds a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics" the double degree/double major distinction is a little ambiguous.

As a broader point, universities are heterogeneous enough that I'm not sure caring deeply about the double degree/double major distinction is useful. It may be a big difference at one institution and no difference at another.

I have a BA in History and Religious Studies from UVA. I intentionally state this ambiguously because, while I completed all of the coursework and theses for a BA in each, the university doesn't confer multiple Bachelors degrees. At the time of commencement, I was given the choice whether to walk with either the History or the Religious Studies department, and the diploma states "Bachelor of Arts in History and Religious Studies." The risk for people in situations like mine is that someone reading a resume might think both disciplines were combined into a single major, which would be unfair to the candidate. That said, if the explanation requires a paragraph like this, it's totally not worth trying to do so.

Yeah. It's a little sad that when you're in college, taking the harder path of two similar sounding degrees is a point of pride, but nobody* will ever notice or care once you have that degree.

*For a value of 'nobody' that doesn't include your graduating cohort at your school.

>>I have a B.S. in Computer Science and B.S. in Mathematics (a double degree). Had I taken fewer courses, I could have had a combined B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics (a double major).

What is the difference between having them separate as opposed to saying it was a double major? You still have to meet the same requirements don't you?

At my college (Whitman College) you can get a degree in Mathematics-Physics. That is the "combined major". It is about as difficult as either a degree in mathematics or a degree in physics, the requirements are a mix of both.

The alternative is a "double major". That is where you meet the requirements of both the math major and the physics major. This is harder than just meeting the requirements of either one individually. Your degree is listed as a "B.A. in Mathematics and Physics" for the double major as opposed to a "B.A. in Mathematics-Physics" for the combined major.

I worked hard for my "and" instead of a "-", dammit.

At my uni (UIUC), there's some technical issues with double majors. I had originally wanted to double major in cs and math, but that's not allowed, because cs is in the engineering college and math is in the liberal arts and sciences college. Since my college grants my degree, neither the engineering college nor the liberal arts college can grant me a degree with the two majors cs and math. I'd need to get two degrees: one from the engineering college and the other from the liberal arts college.

Although UIUC does offer a single "Math and CS" major through the liberal arts college to address this potential issue.

Are you able to use classes from one college to satisfy the requirements of the other college? For example, if you meet all the liberal arts requirements in one college I expect that they will count towards the other degree right? The fact that you cannot call it a double major is merely a technicality is it not (Although in my mind it is still a double major)? What does it matter if they are not issued by the same college? I still don't see the difference. At the end of the day you have two degrees.

Well, it is a bit of technicality I guess, but you're not getting two degrees with a double major. You're getting one degree with two majors (at least as far as I understand it). Getting a dual degree is actually getting two separate degrees. And there's a bunch of bureaucratic stuff you need to push through to get approved for a dual degree here (more than there would be for double majoring with two majors within one college).

As far as I know the requirements would count towards both degrees, though.

When I was going to UIUC, there were 3 Computer Science programs offered: 1. Computer Science 2. Computer Science and mathematics 3. Computer Science and Statistics

The first was through the engineering department, and the last two were through the liberal arts department.

The combined programs were basically the entire sequence of non-elective CS courses required for a CS degree and the non-elective math or stats courses. My friends that got degrees in those basically took 20-30 hours more math courses. I got a straight CS degree, so those hours were filled with about 15 hours of CS electives and the remaining 15 were with the engineering school's "application sequence" requirement which was a series of electives in another discipline.

I believe double majors do not functionally require as much due to a greater chance of being able to double-count a class. Also, a double major typically means you get one diploma that lists your two majors. A double degree means that you get two physically separate diplomas. This may matter to someone.

Of course, I may be compeletely wrong with respect to the OP's university.

I have a double degree, B.S. Economics and B.S. Computer Science, however, my school did not mind me double counting classes, I just had to meet all of the requirements of both majors and accumulate 150 credits. Whereas a single degree would be just 120 credits. I could have received a double major, which is 120 credits (or more) and fulfilling all of the requirements of both majors. Since the CS program required 120 credits (with no wiggle room for classes that didn't fit the curriculum) adding on economics put me above 150 credits just to fullfil all of the requirements.

(OP here! This is turning into an interesting discussion.)

The requirement for double majors is to complete both majors; only two courses are allowed to count twice, and only if the undergraduate chair of the department agrees.

Once you complete a double major, you can get a double degree (two diplomas) by reaching 150 credits instead of the 120 required for a single or double major.

Seems pretty fair since many colleges offer a one year Masters degree once you reach 150 credits (yes, I did take some graduate courses on my journey.)

My double degree required completing 150 credits, rather than 120 credits for a single degree with double major (the equivalent of an addition year of courses). I can't recall at this point if there were any additional course requirements, but I don't think there were.

(OP here) Same here! Why don't you list your degrees as B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Mathematics on LinkedIn?

Were you issued two diplomas, like me? Even if the college only issues a single diploma for everybody, you're allowed to list both separately if your college officially recognizes that you completed a double degree.

Once I realized I could reach 150 credits to qualify for a double degree, I talked to the registrar, who told me they print a single one that looks exactly like the one for double majors unless the degrees are different types (B.S. and B.A.), but you were allowed to list them as separate on your resume (and could pay $30 to get a second copy). This glitch was fixed in time for my graduation, however, and I got two diplomas.

They still had a glitch where you had to choose one major to walk with for graduation, even for a double degree. Some students including myself solved this problem by getting in line for each of the majors.

Yikes, for my "dual degree" program in Arts and Engineering, I had to do 240 credits (a typical science/arts degree is 120, the requirements for my engineering degree were 160 credits, but there was some overlap, e.g. electives)

"Might have"? Sounds like his college was only offering one CS class at the time... much less a degree.

Looks like he lied but then I had no time to check everything out, hence the "might have"

His Wikipedia article mentions he previously was "chief technology officer" at PayPal. Obviously the issue at hand is credibility, but I also wonder how someone with no tech credentials could become CTO of PayPal, where article also says he oversaw "architecture."

> holds a Bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science" [...] degree is in accounting only [...] it 1) undermines his credibility as a technology expert and 2) reflects poorly on the character of the CEO who has been tasked with leading

You can recognize them by what they _don't_ say publicly online. When a leader of an open source project bills himself with over half a dozen titles, but none of them are educational qualifications, then they lied about those quals to some current or previous employer/s.

How much of this should have been found out in a background check?

Is the board responsible here as well?

I have to imagine hiring a new CEO for a public company the background checks must be impeccable.

There do appear to be some precedents: http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Article/MSN-1154-Cover-Letters-...

But they don't necessarily support a resignation or firing. Thompson's other problem is that he has not made any friends (and for the wrong reasons)(patents, rebuffing Loeb, plan-less layoffs).

> But they don't necessarily support a resignation or firing. Thompson's other problem is that he has not made any friends (and for the wrong reasons)(patents, rebuffing Loeb, plan-less layoffs).

In my view (as a Yahoo shareholder and until tomorrow an employee), it's just another distraction that Yahoos don't need. So many great people being sandbagged by issues out their control or knowledge.

Particularly during a time when Thompson really needs to move Yahoo past the "will-they-or-won't-they" period that preceded layoffs by a month, and which still persists a month after the big 're-org' announcement.

Though I guess this is just kind of what happens when you play hardball on this big a stage.

Question: if Yahoo weren't playing the part of patent troll with Facebook right now does this story still get the same hype? Seems like there are many folks with a vested interest in seeing a change of direction from Yahoo right now..

I wonder how differently this story would have played out if it was Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos? My inclination is that there would be a resounding ya, but he's doing a great job so why does it matter?

So...does it matter any way?

I think the difference here is that Scott Thompson was not a founder/co-founder but hired to the CEO position based on certain credentials.

Steve Jobs had an honorary PhD in Reality Distortion from Miskatonic University, so he could put anything he wanted to on his resume.

I wonder who is trying to pull strings and get board votes. and for what i might add.

Yahoo is going through a dark time and to have something like this brought to light is so low.

Third Point is waging a proxy fight. They want three of their own people on the board. YHOO offered two & one that was mutually acceptable. There is much more (if you are interested) in YHOO's most recent DEF 14/A filed yesterday.


He should be forced to go back and get a CS degree. Imagine the CEO of Yahoo in a CS101 Introduction to Programming class!

It's Nirav Tolia all over again. What's with these Yahoo people lying about their education?

If these allegations turn out to be true I'm going to lose some respect for tech journalism.

Given his penchant for patent trolling I would have figured him for a law degree.

Jobs didn't need a college degree to be a good CEO.

In my opinion, college degree is not neccessary to be a competent CEO. Leaders are praised for different qualities than those which can be simply taught in a school.

"Jobs didn't need a college degree to be a good CEO."

Jobs didn't lie about having a degree either.

No, but he lied to his friend about a 50/50 split on work for $5000 claiming it was $750 and claimed he was sterile after fathering a child.


I remember seeing the story of SJ lying to Wozniak, sometime back. And, I think that along with the 'fathering a child' lie, make up for much bigger lies and actually hurting others much more.

The kind of lie which Yahoo CEO made, is much softer in comparison. And its obviously a mistake which he made when he was young, and then got stuck with it.

The strong reaction on HN, perhaps, is a result of too many young people out here who put a greater importance to degree. I think, it matters to them much more, being just out of college.

Agreed, but that wasn't the point...

Would you approve of a CEO lying on public investor documentation?

It's less about whether he needed the degree, and more about whether he lied on a filing to the SEC about him having the degree.

Lying is inexcusable, but I'm more interested in what prompted him to make the lie in the first place. I mean, who really cares if he has a CS degree or not? What did he stand to gain?

I agree, but honesty is necessary to be a competent CEO, especially honesty to government authority that can close the company down.

It is highly unlikely that the SEC would be able to come anywhere near shutting down YHOO. The CEO could come under criminal prosecution & most certainly would be sued (but most likely settled) by the SEC.

You are right. Even if he has the best experience, lying to the public and authorities is a big mistake.

That makes the lie even more foolish.

Time for what, CEO #5 in the last 4 years?

If he lied, then he is a good salesman.

Would the degree have mattered?

It's not so much about the degree, it's about the deception.

They have a valid point on the CEO but when they call out a director for saying she had a degree in 'marketing and economics' and she actually has a degree in 'business administration' they make it pretty obvious this is nothing more than a smear campaign. How on earth could the difference between those degrees (from a 3rd tier school) impact her capability to be a good Yahoo board member? I don't even understand why one would lie about something like that. It's like lying and saying you here a high school lacrosse captain when you were actually a rugby captain.

His pay package for yahoo is 27 million dollars, i wonder how much of that he will keep after he gets the pink slip? Probably more than I'll ever earn in 5 of my lifetimes.

It doesn't seem fair. But I guess demand for ceo's is high and quality ceo's are scarce.

Quality CEO's my ass. Salaries for CEOs are high because they work like the mob's "cleaners" a lot of the time, and because they come from an exclusive club who all hire each other.

or because it is a very difficult, high stress job that very few people can actually handle?

You mean like being a code monkey at a web agency, yet they get paid shit all? You mean like hitting rocks in a mine all day until your back gives up on you, yet they get paid shit all? You mean like trying to run a farm and competing against giant corporations who want to take over your business?

People at the top of the corporate and political ladders are excellent at one thing - bullshitting. Their job is the same difficulty as countless jobs which pay a tiny fraction of their salary. They're just good enough liars to convince everyone otherwise.

supply vs demand my friend.

Anyone can hit rocks in a mine. It might be hard and stressful work, but anyone can do it.

Not anyone can make decisions and lead an entire group of people.

I think that the trouble is that high school teaches people how to follow, so they are conditioned for that. When people get to university-level education and, even more so, complete a masters degree, they have access to all sorts of information which the average person will find very difficult to obtain. The other aspect of this, which I would argue is far more important, is the social connections which are available at the "upper" end of society. It's all an old boy's club and semi-closed culture which most people simply don't have access to.

Leading is a skill just like mining or programming are skills - they can all be learned. Given the recent evidence of life-long brain plasticity, it's reasonable to assert that this is more a problem of nurture than nature.

In short, we train relatively few people to lead, hence the low supply.

If we judge by most actual results, most CEOs are not all that great at making decisions and leading groups. They get their jobs and get paid anyway.

Not to mention SCALE. While it's hard to be sure about cause and effect, a CEO who is 10% more effective than their peers can generate more shareholder value than a developer who is 10% more effective than their peers. A CEO who is 5X better is pretty much priceless.

One reason CEOs are well-paid is so that all of the middle managers will strive harder in hopes of having the job someday. Another is that our corporate governance/capital markets aren't that competitive and lousy managers can insulate themselves from market discipline.

Judging empirically, I'd say most actual CEOs can't handle it. That doesn't mean they don't get their golden parachute!

As I said, most CEOs nowadays seem to behave like mob "cleaners". You want them to come in, do the dirty work that needs doing, and then leave. You don't want them necessarily going somewhere else after leaving you. So you pay them a lot, because you want them to live quiet lives afterward.

Bingo. And the sooner we rise up and get rid of this club, the better.

He got to the CEO position not because he had a CS degree. So it is totally fair to get that kind of compensation.

On the other hand - it might be totally fair to be prosecuted for doing this... :)

I'd wager that quality CEOs willing to take this particular job are especially scarce.

If I had a nickel for every time I said "I could have run that company into the ground for half the price they were paying that bozo" I would have... a bunch of nickels and not be much wealthier than I am. Alas.

Stranger things have happened, but I'm not sure a golden parachute would deploy if he's indicted by the SEC.

If I had a CS degree I would lie about it as well

..... cue the downvotes ....

This opinion is from someone who's been in charge of hiring a few times and will likely do so again: If you can actually do the job described, I don't give a damn about your credentials. I would not fire an employee who I found out fabricated credentials, if they had been working well for a while.

I was with you right up until the last sentence. I have no problem with people being hired if they're skilled yet don't have a degree. However, lying about it shows a lack of integrity. I wouldn't want that person working for me.

Exactly, it's the lie that's bad. If he had not added on CS most likely he still would have gotten the job. I would bet he was just keeping up a lie he started earlier in his career.

> I would not fire an employee who I found out fabricated credentials

What company do you work for? I'd like to steer clear of it in the future.

It's one thing to say "I don't care about credentials". It's another thing entirely to say "I don't care about dishonesty".

Check profile. Would not worry about that happening.

It's a matter of confidence. I wouldn't hire the best coder in the world if that person is a liar. If I know you fabricated this, I'll begin to think about what else you lied about. Even if you're clean otherwise, the doubt is there.

And in this case, the lie is pointless. Nobody cares if Thompson has a CS degree, so why lie about it? It's a poor reflection of character imo, and I wouldn't work for someone I don't trust.

This is a good thread as any to use Buffett's quote on the type of people he looks to hire: "Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true. If you hire somebody without the first, you really want them to be dumb and lazy."

Being able to get the job done doesn't mean it is getting done right. If they lied about something so easily verifiable, why would you trust that they're not lying to you about something more important? What does that say about your screening process and you as an employer and a company?

Lying about your credentials is really low and kept the more experienced person from getting the job. You may be happy with the liar's output, but you don't know how much you're screwing yourself (and their future employers) in the end by allowing that type of behavior to be rewarded.

An employee who fabricates credentials is fabricating other things as well. Your statement is saying that you are making a conscious decision to continue employing a person who misleads and misrepresents.

You might be okay with that, but there are enough people with character and integrity out there that I am not okay with it.

That isn't the problem. The problem is, if they lied about this, what else are they lying about?

If a CEO has fabricated experience they have questionable integrity - and their ability to lead is impaired.

This is a guy who has hired a consulting firm to help him run Yahoo and has sued Facebook. Not exactly the person that you want to take on Google, etc.

So are you saying you'd hire a guy with an accounting background with a habit of stretching the truth to handle your finances?

I thought that this would get a lot of responses, and I'm happy to read so many opinions. To put my thoughts another way: say that you're in a fictional world where discrimination against a particular set of people profound, and they are not protected by any law. Many, to avoid the stereotype, might lie about their identity to not be judged.

I realize that a college degree is different (I personally love college and find it quite useful), and college can be beneficial, I think the value that society places on a degree is so absurd that I feel for those who may he compelled to lie. I may note that I have not encountered such a person yet.

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