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YAHOO !

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Yahoo! Inc. : Third Point Questions Yahoo Chief's Education Record

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05/03/2012 | 04:09pm EDT

(Updates with comment from Yahoo, fresh stock quote.)

Hedge fund Third Point LLC unveiled a new line of attack against Yahoo Inc.'s (YHOO) management, calling into question Chief Executive Scott Thompson's credentials as it pushes for a change in the Internet giant's leadership.

The fund, run by activist investor Dan Loeb, questioned the accuracy of filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that said Thompson holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College.

Third Point said Thompson only holds a degree in accounting, not computer science. The hedge fund added Stonehill did not begin awarding computer science degrees until 1983, four years after Thompson graduated.

Yahoo attributed the discrepancy to an "inadvertent error."

"This in no way alters that fact that Mr. Thompson is a highly qualified executive with a successful track record leading large consumer technology companies," the company said in a statement.

A representative at Stonehill's registrar's office said the college couldn't comment on alumni records without receiving a form requesting the release of records.

The hedge fund said the embellishment, if true, undermines Thompson's credibility as a technology expert and reflects poorly on his character.

Third Point also cited filings describing Yahoo director Patti Hart as holding a degree in marketing and economics from Illinois State University. The fund said Hart's degree is only in business administration.

Yahoo said Hart holds a business administration degree with specialities in marketing and economics.

Third Point has mostly criticized Yahoo's board, saying it believes the board has made a series of decisions that have harmed the company.

Yahoo shares were recently off 1.7% at $15.41 amid a broad market downturn Thursday. The stock is off 14% over the past year.

 
   -By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909; Andrew.FitzGerald@dowjones.com 

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Managers
NameTitle
Thomas J. McInerney Chief Executive Officer & Director
Eric K. Brandt Chairman
Alexi A. Wellman Chief Financial Officer & Chief Accounting Officer
Catherine J. Friedman Independent Director
Tor R. Braham Independent Director