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Resumegate Continues At Yahoo: Thompson Out As CEO, Levinsohn In

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the the-reasons-are-always-personal-aren't-they? dept.

Businesses 107

Google85 writes with this news from All Things D: "Yahoo's embattled CEO Scott Thompson is set to step down from his job at the Silicon Valley Internet giant, in what will be a dramatic end to a controversy over a fake computer science degree that he had on his bio, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The company will apparently say he is leaving for 'personal reasons.' Thompson's likely replacement on an interim basis will be Yahoo's global media head, Ross Levinsohn, who most recently also ran its Americas unit, including its advertising sales."

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Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988559)

Jesus Christ people. Watergate was not about water.

Stop this hackneyed, lazy labeling of scandals now!

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988597)

THIS JUST IN: Reporters reporting news use the word "gate" too much to describe scandals!
Our reporter reports: "News of GateGate are just starting to-"
and that's all the time we have, now, CATS!
more at 11

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988625)

We're way past the point where adding "gate" to a word to name makes sense. This has now entered the common vernacular so get over it.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988751)

I choose not to get over it. It's a shitty suffix and if someone else doesn't remind us of this for every -gate post, I will.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988811)

so, you'll be stuck at the -gate post, while the rest of us move on.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989623)

Umadgate?

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990967)

Would this be "bitchingate" or "moaningate" ?

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988651)

The funny part is that this is a "tech" scandal... Supposedly anyone older than 25 is "over the hill" WRT tech and is already obsolete, yet to have lived thru the original watergate scandal you'd have to be at least 50. I mean, yeah, technically I was alive when nixon resigned, but I was only a couple months old so I didn't care too much. I figure you'd have to be at least 50 to have been paying attention.

I guess the tech connection is if you're "in tech" then ask your grandfather about putting -gate at the end of every scandal.

It could be worse, we could be going thru history reporting on water-contra, water-resume or water-yahoo or whatever.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39991267)

? Err... 1. It's only a tech scandal in that it involves someone at a tech company (okay, and a problem around his credentials in computer science). That is, not at all. It's a scandal about lying about credentials and not getting caught when you really should have been scrutinized closely.

2. Does that mean anything with a historical reference point is no longer valid? Like Einstein, Hitler, Caesar?

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39991443)

Maybe you can explain how Watergate is relevant to lying about your education. If somebody could make that connection, I wouldn't object too much to the application of the -gate.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

IwantToKeepAnon (411424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39995309)

Maybe you can explain how Watergate is relevant to lying about your education. If somebody could make that connection, I wouldn't object too much to the application of the -gate.

Lying on your resume, lying about taping secret conversations ... seems pretty straight forward to me.

(OK, Watergate was much more complex than lying. But it was the tapes that indicted the president and unraveled a big part of the operation. It was the lying part that the American audience saw the most.)

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39992689)

Through. Like four more letters.

Americans, honestly.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39992941)

The only place I've seen use "gate" is here on Slashdot. Where 50 is the new 18. (How about finally getting a Harley? Show those suits a thing or two.)

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988675)

But then we'd have to rename wars as conflicts.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (4, Insightful)

InfiniteZero (587028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988743)

Chill dude. Languages are dynamic and evolving, and "-gate" is a perfect example in English. Not unlike "-ism", "-ology", etc, it's concise, immediately recognisiable, and perfectly convey the essence and nuance of the whole situation.

Languages are not laws of physics. They are more like technological standards -- when something gets used by a lot of people, it often becomes the de facto standard.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988841)

The continued use of the suffix "-gate" is retarded, childish, and the product of lazy, feeble minds, such as those who use the expression "chill dude".

There is absolutely nothing about the suffix "-gate" that adds anything to the base word, and it doesn't convey any essence or nuance of anything.

None of the factors in play in the unconstitutional break-in, cover-up, or attempted firing of Archibald Cox orchestrated and directed by a sitting president, and the constitutional crisis into which it plunged the nation are conveyed in the suffix "-gate".

Moreover, neither Thompson's resume fraud, nor any of the other post-Watergate uses of the suffix "-gate" have had anything whatsoever in common with that original crisis.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (5, Interesting)

RavenousBlack (1003258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989079)

I think the feeble mind is the one that ignores an argument, attacks the one making the argument, and repeats the original line of thinking being argued against. The suffix adds plenty to the base word. If the title was just "Resume Continues at Yahoo: Thompson Out as CEO, Levinsohn In" then it wouldn't be clear what was meant. Adding -gate makes it apparent that there was some sort of scandal involving something about a resume. While it's not the only way to express that information it's one that has been adopted as understandable by a large enough population. Also, while it isn't true to what Watergate originally was: It. Doesn't. Matter. Meaning is not static. I would say that it takes a good mind to accept and adapt to the constant changes of language. And even further, you can't nitpick such a thing because you're guilty of it yourself! You used the word "orchestrated" in your post. The earliest origin of the word orchestra was used to refer to the area in a theater where the chorus was positioned. It has nothing to do with your use of it. You still used it fairly successfully though.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39991895)

Apparently the word "scandal" lacks something that "-gate" provides? Besides shorter headlines, and that alone has always been a good enough reason for the papers.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

nadaou (535365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39992473)

blah blah blah ok, you want to invoke ad hominem then drop a non sequitur in the next sentence? In that case the full Baloney Kit is on the table: Adding -gate to some random fluff-up is a form of call to authority, and therefore as one of Sagan's classic fatal fallacies is to be avoided at costs.

It borrows from a real scandal (in this case no less than the subversion of democracy by its leader) to lend credibility to something modern which is (most commonly) entirely trivial in nature. The more trivial the more likely you are to see a -gate added to it. It's a sleazy rhetorical trick to make the "scandal" sound important (or to beg that it is a scandal at all), and should be treated as just that -- a sleazy rhetorical trick.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989375)

There are two constants to language: 1. languages evolve and take on new words and idioms and 2. some pedantic asshole is always there shouting "get off my lawn!"

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988879)

Languages are dynamic and evolving

Well, I wish the English language would evolve into a language that has less inconsistent rules and spelling for words. As it is now, it's as if it's a slut getting gang raped by every other language on the planet.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988941)

Languages are dynamic and evolving

Well, I wish the English language would evolve into a language that has less inconsistent rules and spelling for words. As it is now, it's as if it's a slut getting gang raped by every other language on the planet.

That's the price for being the international lingua franca. English is not the language of the Englishmen anymore, get over it.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39991711)

Languages are dynamic and evolving

Well, I wish the English language would evolve into a language that has less inconsistent rules and spelling for words. As it is now, it's as if it's a slut getting gang raped by every other language on the planet.

Funny, I think the predominant impression is that other languages are the ones being defiled by English (esp French, Chinese, Japanese, and German) or even murdered (e.g., Gaelic, Welsh, Scots, Manx, Navajo, Cherokee, Inuktituk, etc)...

Let me guess, you must be a "queen's english" speaker...

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989109)

Well, it does insult watergate. Something that was significant for lot of people.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (2)

djlowe (41723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989177)

it's concise, immediately recognisiable [sic], and perfectly convey the essence and nuance of the whole situation.

No, it doesn't. Watergate was about criminal political misdeeds at the Federal level in the US, and the attempt to cover up the same: This is not.

when something gets used by a lot of people, it often becomes the de facto standard.

And in so doing, distorts not only the original, but also alters that to which it is applied, in an attempt to create "sound bite" representations, simplifications of complex issues.

Regards,

dj

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989569)

Okay, so -gate has been genericized. Happens to almost every word given enough time.

First, it was used for one specific instance: Watergate. Then we had Koreagate, Billygate, Monicagate - any Federal-level political scandal.

Then it went international: Dunagate, Mabelgate, Petrogate - any political scandal

Then it went non-political: Closetgate, Climategate, Cablegate, Crashgate, and those are just the ones that give me an alliteration bonus. Oh, and Bonusgate.

Wikipedia counts one hundred and nineteen distinct -gates [wikipedia.org] beyond the original Watergate (and also excluding fictional -gates). This includes two distinct Memogates, Nannygates, Grannygates, Spygates, Strippergates and three Troopergates. And those are just the ones meeting Wikipedia notability guidelines.

Languages *change*. The news media uses meaningless sound-bite catchphrases. History gets distorted. Get over it.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (4, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990427)

Meh. I though this is a tech site.
What about metal gate, silicon gate, high-k gate?

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990929)

One fatal flaw in your exposition above: "-gate" wasn't used as a suffix adding onto something else in the case of "Watergate." The "Watergate scandal" was named after the Watergate hotel. It wasn't until sometime later someone decided to split apart Watergate and make "-gate" a suffix.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989231)

Chill dude. Languages are dynamic and evolving, and "-gate" is a perfect example in English. Not unlike "-ism", "-ology", etc, it's concise, immediately recognisiable, and perfectly convey the essence and nuance of the whole situation.

I couldn't agree more about language, but the reason I hate "-gate" is that it doesn't convey the essence and nuance of the situation. It signals that there is a scandal and possibly gives you a half-word about what the scandal is about, but in most situations I find that it does more to confuse the meaning than it does to convey it quickly. I believe that's why people get angry about it, because it's not doing the job it's supposed to be doing.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989839)

... it's concise, immediately recognisiable, and perfectly convey the essence and nuance of the whole situation.

So is resume scandal.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39991407)

Chill dude. Languages are dynamic and evolving, and "-gate" is a perfect example in English.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7v_6uGlWQ [youtube.com]

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39992053)

Languages evolve, but they evolve with accepted usage, not by the consensus of the imbeciles of the population. Otherwise there, their, they're; your, you're; for, fore, four, 4; etc. would be perfectly interchangeable, because "get with the times maaaan." Plenty of people use those words incorrectly, and everybody else still understands what they mean. But they're not somehow correct by virtue of the fact they used the word incorrectly.

Same as -gate. The fact that some people use it, and most people understand it, does not mean it is correct or is English. It is a very US centric term, and even then pretty much only used by news media. As far as I can see, it's perfectly reasonable to try to turn back the tide by berating people for using a retarded terminology.

It's like people arguing that "literally" can now mean "figuratively" or just a vague increasing of emphasis. Well in a way it can -- imbeciles use it that way, and they don't fool many people into thinking they are using it correctly. But they all try to argue that they are correct after the fact due to having used it incorrectly. No. There is no good substitute for the word "literally", and plenty of good substitutes for whatever retarded other uses people are trying to put it to. So people using "literally" incorrectly also deserve to be berated and shamed as being stupid.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

xelah (176252) | more than 2 years ago | (#39992817)

Chill dude. Languages are dynamic and evolving, and "-gate" is a perfect example in English. Not unlike "-ism", "-ology", etc, it's concise, immediately recognisiable, and perfectly convey the essence and nuance of the whole situation.

And a major part of that evolution is people opposing and ridiculing new language constructs they don't like.

Languages are not laws of physics. They are more like technological standards -- when something gets used by a lot of people, it often becomes the de facto standard.

'Blah-gate' is not used by lots of people - at least, not here in the UK, nor even in these forums. It's like The Sun saying 'the police quizzed curvy Claire, 22'. It's used by journalists. It's used to sensationalize and to save space in headlines (or, in the case of The Sun, to avoid describing properly and keep the average syllable count below 1.2 to avoid their readers deciding they're too intellectual). Normal people just don't talk that way.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988831)

Hear Hear

And could we also stop using -athon as a suffix for fund raising events lasting 24 hours.(Marathon was a place you know)

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (5, Funny)

zhrike (448699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988855)

Watergategate?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB9JgxhXW5w [youtube.com]

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989383)

Brilliant, someone mod this guy up!

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39991475)

If the same thing happened again, they'd call it Conventiongate.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989001)

No.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989811)

>> Stop this hackneyed, lazy labeling of scandals now!

I agree; we must end Scandalgate!

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39991033)

And anyway it should be "CV-gate". Three syllables instead of four, crisp, and with a bit of jargon that seems appropriate under the circumstance (don't know what "CV" is? Yahoo it!).

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39992393)

Not to mention TFA left out the little fact that the man has cancer [cnet.com] which would be a pretty damned good "personal reason' to step down. After all if his doc is recommending an aggressive treatment plan he is simply gonna be too sick to do his day to day work.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39992759)

Well said. It is ridiculous.
Most people reading this won't even know why it is misused, it's done by old people.

Re:Stop using gate at the end of 'scandals' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39995933)

Certainly. But first, please stop using Jesus' name in blasphemous ways. Please talk to Him instead. He's waiting for you, I promise.

Gategate Continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988579)

Can we stop using it as a suffix now?

Your Answer: (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39992101)

No

Yahoo are irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988621)

.. anyway.

Re:Yahoo are irrelevant (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988837)

Not yet, but give them time.

Now that ThirdPoint (the investment firm that made the stink in the first place) got what they wanted (a guy on the board), I wonder how long it will take before Yahoo suddenly and unexpectedly sells off its patent portfolio to Microsoft at fire-sale prices.

Re:Yahoo are irrelevant (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989141)

three seats, not one. And they want to maximize their 6% ownership of Yahoo, so they are not seeking firesale sales.

What are they selling these days? (1)

mihai.todor85 (1663759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988681)

Call me curious, but what does Yahoo! offer these days besides a buggy version of Gmail and Flickr? I'm almost sure that nobody is using their search engine, which is supposed to be powered by Bing anyway...

Eyeballs and pageviews (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988797)

Yahoo! sells exactly what Google sells: eyeballs and pageviews to advertisers. The difference is that Yahoo! gets its eyeballs from properties, whereas Google gets them from search results.

Re:Eyeballs and pageviews (2)

mihai.todor85 (1663759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988839)

I find it rather odd that they have the required traffic to keep going. Just look at Yahoo Answers for example. Or the trending topics featured on Yahoo Mail. Or... They're lucky that my main email address is @yahoo.com, because otherwise I would have ditched them a long time ago.

Re:Eyeballs and pageviews (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988917)

Yahoo! is targeted to mainstream, normal people, so perhaps you are not in that demographic. yahoo.com is easily in the top-10 of highest-traffic websites in the world.

Re:Eyeballs and pageviews (2)

mihai.todor85 (1663759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988985)

They're going to get buried into history if they don't stop this cheap soap-opera with the CEO(s)... The internet changes much faster than the real world. One day you're at the top, tomorrow you're nobody: there once was a site called myspace, and the rest is history :)

Re:Eyeballs and pageviews (4, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989683)

They're going to get buried into history if they don't stop this cheap soap-opera with the CEO(s)... The internet changes much faster than the real world. One day you're at the top, tomorrow you're nobody: there once was a site called myspace, and the rest is history :)

Yeah, but bear in mind that Yahoo aren't really a "flavour of the month" company... and haven't been for *well over a decade* now. I always had the perception that (despite having tried some new stuff) fundamentally they hadn't really moved on or gone anywhere since their portal-fad dotcom-era incarnation. To me, they have the air of a "legacy" company still stuck in the late 90s, a long-stagnant dinosaur that didn't seem to go anywhere much after Google stole their thunder in the aftermath of the dotcom era.

And my point is that despite this .... they're still worth loads. They've been yesterday's men, once-leaders who were overtaken, for over a decade now, and yet they're still way up there... so I wouldn't write them off, or at least assume that they're going to do a MySpace within 18 months or whatever.

I'm guessing a lot of Yahoo's success is down to existing (i.e. "legacy") users- AFAIK Yahoo Mail still has a surprisingly large and established user base. Probably *not* "fashionable" computer users, but more conservative, less tech-savvy types who stick with them out of momentum and lack of interest in changing- but that of course is a good thing for Yahoo in many respects!

Re:What are they selling these days? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989077)

Call me curious, but what does Yahoo! offer these days besides a buggy version of Gmail and Flickr?

They also have a shitty version of Groups, in a way; they have crappy web forums, too. Groups is a lot more than that but since Google has kind of taken over news, I consider that irrelevant to this conversation :)

Re:What are they selling these days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989125)

Call me curious, but what does Yahoo! offer these days besides a buggy version of Gmail and Flickr?

They also have a shitty version of Groups, in a way; they have crappy web forums, too. Groups is a lot more than that but since Google has kind of taken over news, I consider that irrelevant to this conversation :)

google has taken over new ? ahahahah

try news, sports, finance, www, IM for starters

Re:What are they selling these days? (1)

PDF (2433640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990035)

Call me curious, but what does Yahoo! offer these days besides a buggy version of Gmail and Flickr?

Yahoo! Answers, which admittedly is very hit-and-miss, but sometimes it gets the job done.

Re:What are they selling these days? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39990083)

URL shortening services for spammers, with no easy way to report abuse.

Re:What are they selling these days? (1)

mihai.todor85 (1663759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990219)

That's good to know :D Thanks! :)

Re:What are they selling these days? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990493)

Their version of GMail is actualy much less buggy. They have a finance portal that is ok (no reason to choose them over Google, or the other way around - but those portals are way too generic for any real use), a news portal that isn't as big as Google's, but several people use.

I also doubt anybody is using their search.

Fucken Ira (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988707)

Moron. I have a BSE computer system's engineering and MSE electrical engineering degree. I studied the exact thing I did at Graphic techniologuies. Makes me hate Jews -- the irony was he didn't know how lucky he was. National Merit Scholar caliber is rare. Fucken Jews.

God says...
C:\Text\PILGRIM.TXT

tanding by it, always casting much water upon it,
to quench it; yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.

Then said Christian, What means this?

{81} The Interpreter answered, This fire is the work of grace that
is wrought in the heart; he that casts water upon it, to extinguish
and put it out, is the Devil; but in that thou seest the fire
notwithstanding burn higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the
reason of that. So he had him about to the backside of the wall,
where he saw a man with a ves

Re:Fucken Ira (0)

Aethelred Unread (2567841) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988931)

Moron. I have a BSE computer system's engineering and MSE electrical engineering degree. I studied the exact thing I did at Graphic techniologuies. Makes me hate Jews -- the irony was he didn't know how lucky he was. National Merit Scholar caliber is rare. Fucken Jews.

God says... C:\Text\PILGRIM.TXT

tanding by it, always casting much water upon it, to quench it; yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.

Then said Christian, What means this?

{81} The Interpreter answered, This fire is the work of grace that is wrought in the heart; he that casts water upon it, to extinguish and put it out, is the Devil; but in that thou seest the fire notwithstanding burn higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the reason of that. So he had him about to the backside of the wall, where he saw a man with a ves

Come again? Most of us don't speak gibberish, especially the anti Semitic dialect.

Resumegate? (1)

rbpOne (2184720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988799)

For one, it's Résumégate. And second.. -gate? Really?

Who's Running Corporations? (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988857)

Man, I think there are a lot of Slashdotters with degrees shaking their heads right about now. Turns out, you don't even need one to rise all the way to the top of a major multinational corporation.

Sure, you might get caught eventually, but think of all the millions you'd have raked in in bonuses, whether or not you trashing the company.

But I was especially struck by the umpteen media executive being brought in to run the company instead. So we have a man at the helm of an internet company with no CS degree, being replaced by more men with no CS degrees. It's pretty clear that CS will never, ever get you as far as advanced skills in professional bullshitting. Sometimes, the world saddens me.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (4, Insightful)

myurr (468709) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988995)

I agree with most of what you say but equally how sad is it that the world judges someone's suitability to run a multinational based on their qualifications rather than the many years of experience they have had since then and / or how good they are at their job. That bit of paper doesn't make someone better suited to run a company than Steve Jobs or Bill Gates etc. just because they didn't complete their courses.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989051)

I don't think he started the courses (if they even existed). It sounds like his accounting degree morphed into a double major degree in CS as well when he was a candidate to become CEO of Paypal based on what I've read in news.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989093)

If they were willing to lie to get the job, then just how compromised are there ethics. This is the heart of the issue. The degree or lack there of is not important, only the implications of changing a CV. By the way it also looks like he only go found out because he stopped lying on FCC filings.

Did Ballmer put private eyes on him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39991349)

What I think happened is this:
1. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo cheap. Having failed to kill it with Icahn, Ballmer puts detectives onto Yahoo management to dig up any dirt they can find. Seems somebody with an interest was digging into his past.
2. Finds a CV degree difference. But who will care about a degree 30 years ago?? Not the shareholders that's for sure.
3. So he sends out the astroturfers to blah blah blah about 'ethics', as if nobody ever lied on their CV.
4. CEO leaves, disrupts Yahoo, Microsoft buys it on the cheap.

I think that's the plot here. Because nobody important (that us the shareholders) gives a stuff about his CV in relation to the drop in shareprice his departure is causing.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39992055)

It really is about lack of degree. I have experience about high profile company interview. They were stunned about my CV and my achievements. They asked me to bring my certificates but never wanted to see those. They had 5 stage interview with different interviewers and tests, phone calls etc. At the end I received a phone call from them wanting to hire me. Then they asked about my graduation, I told that I have not graduated and the the interviewer answered with disgust in her voice (they should not hire me). I never told them I did not graduate but replied when questioned.

I really was unprofessional interview. They should have checked the certificates from day 1. But if they did the tone of the interview would have been disgust from day 1. They were never interested about me, as a person, and about my life history (and what I've been doing). These are just processes and you must have the degree. The degree is to prove that you belong to a certain social class.

Now I am being offered management job offers but I will reject those (just to avoid these type of scandals). I am not part of "you". I was code monkey during my childhood and systems architect later. I lack the skills for management work but am good at R&D. So get the degree if you don't want to hit the glass ceiling.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989113)

I agree with most of what you say but equally how sad is it that the world judges someone's suitability to run a multinational based on their qualifications rather than the many years of experience they have had since then and / or how good they are at their job.

He is being judged on how good he is at his job. He proved himself incompetent by making such an easily disprovable lie. The place he claimed to have a CS degree didn't even have a CS program when he claimed to have graduated. We didn't even need to get his transcripts to catch him. It is hard to imagine someone more incompetent than that.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (3, Informative)

uncqual (836337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989433)

Indeed, even if it went down exactly as Thompson claims, the most charitable conclusion I can come up with is that he is not competent for the job.

Yahoo! filed, over his signature, SEC documents that included the phantom degree. It was his job to make sure that those filings were correct -- either because he personally knew they were or because he selected people to check them who were trusted. In this case, he had personal knowledge of the facts and, at best, didn't even read what he signed. I actually give a CEO a break if there is some arcane thing in such filings that is wrong if they have no personal direct knowledge of the area (for example swapping the currency exchange rates for Feb and March when they are within 0.01% of each other) and the people he delegated the task of checking to screwed up -- but that's not the case here.

I can't believe the guy lasted more than 24 hours after the revelation -- that says something very bad about Yahoo!

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39992579)

I can't believe the guy lasted more than 24 hours after the revelation -- that says something very bad about Yahoo!

Yahoo's PR consultants and lawyers would have spent the time around the clock frantically trying to work out how to massage away this catastrophe. When no way out could be found, Thompson had to go.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (2)

zzatz (965857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990239)

Not only did he lie about something easy to check, he lied about something he didn't need to. No one hires a CEO based on academic credentials. Executives are hired for their business experience.

I'm still trying to sort out whether Yahoo is dropping him because he lied, or because he's bad at lying.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39993343)

But once upon a time he wasn't a CEO. Unless he is really stupid he didn't add it for this job, he added it long ago when it might have mattered.

Then he didn't try changing it to be more generic over time and hoping the old references get lost, which is the bit I find strange.

They're dropping him because he made them (the board) look bad. Or possibly they aren't lying and he really is resigning because he has cancer.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989257)

The problem, in this case, isn't so much that he didn't have a CS degree; but that he said he did. When looking for somebody who is going to enjoy substantial power and a fair amount of discretion, choosing the guy who started lying to you before he even made it in the door for first-round interviews seems like a terrible plan.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (1)

rachit (163465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39991605)

I agree with most of what you say but equally how sad is it that the world judges someone's suitability to run a multinational based on their qualifications rather than the many years of experience they have had since then and / or how good they are at their job. That bit of paper doesn't make someone better suited to run a company than Steve Jobs or Bill Gates etc. just because they didn't complete their courses.

For the 100th time, its pretty clear he isn't getting canned because he doesn't have the degree, its because he lost credibility to everyone because of the lie.

I bet you Yahoo has huge issues retaining "good people" right now. If I was still working at Yahoo when I heard that the guy was still (attempting to) stay on, I'd probably give notice and semi-publicly explain why (can't go fully public because it would affect hiring at future jobs). People don't want to work for someone who has no integrity.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989243)

I suspect that a willingness to lie(and the people skills to pull it off) have long been recognized as common credentials for executive positions(remember, he was some big guy at paypal(who presumably didn't detect him) and possibly some other gigs before that, before the current mess.

Honestly, that's the bit that I find most baffling and displeasing: I have the greatest respect for the rigor required to get a good CS degree; but I can also imagine why distant-from-the-code-mines management types might not be selected primarily on the basis of the depth of their technical skill in specific areas.

However, the apparent years-long success in floating around the heads-I-win-tails-you-lose world of executive compensation on the basis of a resume that contained bald, verifiably impossible, assertions, is pretty dire.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989291)

Turns out, you don't even need [a degree] to rise all the way to the top of a major multinational corporation.

It's pretty clear that CS will never, ever get you as far as advanced skills in professional bullshitting.

I'm going to have to advocate what will surely be an unpopular position among slashdotters. You make two statements here, and interpret them as evidence that something is terribly wrong in the business world. I would argue that both are exactly as they should be in a healthy, competitive capitalist environment.

Re your first statement: It makes sense if you don't necessarily need a college degree to become CEO of a big corporation (although in fact I suspect that the vast majority do have one). Typically when you're hiring someone for their first job out of college, you hire them based heavily on their college record, because you have nothing else to go on. As the person moves into more responsible and senior positions, this starts to matter less and less, because now you have something much more meaningful to judge them on: their record of success in previous positions.

Re your second statement: It's true that much of management consists of professional bullshitting. However, much of it does not. Management requires certain skills that most people don't have. Some of these skills are technical in nature (knowing how corporate finance works, understanding labor laws, ...) and some are "soft" people skills, but just because they're soft that doesn't mean that they're easy. Shakespeare and Charlemagne both had soft skills, and they had them at an extremely high level.

If you want to focus your ire on something, a more appropriate target might be undergraduate business degrees, which do help people land entry-level management jobs -- and they shouldn't, because the coursework is ridiculously dumbed down. An undergraduate diploma in business is even more worthy of being used as toilet paper than one in education or area studies.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39990541)

If the CEO is lying about his academic credentials, how can you trust his so called other claims of much more achievements.? Most CEO crooks destroy the company and drive away the best technical people. Xerox is an example where a bean counter without any CS/IS qualification was employed and he was blind enough to destroy the whole company. What schools teach is the 1st principles which are necessary to fall back when a totally new situation arises. That is how scientist solve problems. Without a degree from a good college or University from where will this CEO guy derive his knowledge and wisdom to lead that company. Also he will be so incompetent to understand alternative views. Take for example the outsourcing. Did any of the CEO guys understand the long term technical skill set loss to the US. While most college degrees are bogus, but that does not mean one without a degree should be hired just based on some flimsy accomplishment. If you are a owner of a company were the total collateral is your won wealth, will you argue"Bill Gate did not have a degree, so I am going to recruit some dummy who is good in PR and politics". Bill Gates types are rare and most companies cannot retain such creative guys. What is pathetic is no one in industry or journalism investigate the academic credentials of every CEO. This verification will weed out dummies and can save the country from intellectual bankruptcy. China and India has learned from the mistakes of USA and are marching past the USA. What a sad story.

there needs to a be a work skills based degree or (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990769)

there needs to a be a work skills based degree or tech degrees in smaller chucks then 2,4,6,8 years.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989311)

If you have a CS degree and an MBA you would be well positioned for upper management. But with just a CS degree you shouldn't expect to get beyond CTO. I do worry when I see salesmen getting promoted into upper management though; they're good shmoozers, good at selling themselves, and can't be trusted at all.

Re:Who's Running Corporations? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990533)

Yes, one could raise into the CEO level on a big company without a degree. It will be hard for you to find somebody around here that disagrees with that. If for no other reason, just the fact that a student just days from gatting his degree doesn't have one should be enough to convince any reasonable person that a piece of paper is a piece of paper, and not some magical stuff.

But you are wrong. That was not a case of a person raising to the top without a degree. He has one.

Irony (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988971)

The company will apparently say he is leaving for "personal reasons."

So he's essentially being canned for lying. And they cover this by lying about the reason he's being canned. Well, that makes sense.

Corporations and the people who work for them, deserve each other.

Re:Irony (4, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990557)

If everybody tells the same lie using the same words, it becomes "jargon". Like "no, you don't look fat on those clothes", it's not even a lie anymore.

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39991645)

Being a liar is a personal property, and firing him for it could well be considered as doing it for personal reasons.

Is Yahoo the other HP? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988983)

Seems like both Silicon Valley companies have had a recent rash of childish, unprofessional behavior in the boardroom. Don't they realize that this shit scares investors away?

Re:Is Yahoo the other HP? (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989129)

Authoritative sources in snappy suits tell us that only wearing a hoodie 'disrespects' investors.

Indulging in childish, unprofessional, and deeply ethically compromised behavior is a form of culturally accepted hospitality. In order to put institutional investors at ease, the board and upper level executives wish to reassure them that they can expect to be dealing with their peers, should they choose to invest in the Yahoo family...

Was starting to buy the-recruiter-did-it excuse... (1)

theodp (442580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989081)

...as would other programmers who have been changed from a Perl programmer to a "Pearl" programmer [perlmonks.org] , COBOL program to "COBALT" programmer [google.com] , etc. by a well-meaning, but tech-inept recruiter.

"Personal Reasons?" (4, Insightful)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989101)

The company will apparently say he is leaving for 'personal reasons.'

Generally when there is any doubt about why an executive is leaving their position, this is the ambiguous statement the company makes. The point is to allow the company to save face, to allow the individual to save face, and to avoid allegations of libel by either side.

In this case, I don't think there's anyone in the industry who isn't familiar with the actual reason Thompson is leaving: he lied about his credentials in the hiring process, and the person ultimately responsible for vetting the information looked the other way because she had lied about her own credentials. At the end of the day, they determined that Yahoo could not maintain the necessary credibility or focus to conduct business if he stayed.

It's public knowledge and it's not debatable, so who are they trying to hide this information from? They're sweeping it under the rug in broad daylight, when they should be owning up to it with a mea culpa" [wikipedia.org] :

  • Thompson should say he messed up, he apologizes and he's moving on.
  • Yahoo should say it messed up, it apologizes and it's moving on.

Maybe that's part of Yahoo's problem: it doesn't move on. It needs to move on, figure out what its role is going to be this decade and focus on that role, or it's going to follow AltaVista into oblivion.

Re:"Personal Reasons?" (3, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990189)

"Personal reasons" could be anything

I'd like to imagine something like: He's not being too fond of YHOO redecorating his office with smoked cod.

Re:"Personal Reasons?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39990281)

Didn't he have a degree with similar wording to whatever was on the website?

Re:"Personal Reasons?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39990719)

Saying that the CEO is leaving for personal reasons is like saying "we've settled the matter and we're not going to discuss it further". It's a pragmatic move for both sides. Even though nobody on the outside gives it credibility, it means that they don't have to explain and defend the real reason.

In particular, the SEC might investigate Yahoo's filings that contained the inaccurate details of CEO Thompson's bio, which Thompson signed and verified as accurate. If Thompson admitted to knowing that the filings were false at the time they were submitted, the SEC might feel called upon to sanction Thompson and/or Yahoo, for example, forbidding Thompson from accepting another position as an officer of a publicly traded company. Thompson has a career to manage, and circumstances change (see: Mark Hurd), so I'm sure he's not sitting at home thinking that he's finished. So this would've been a bargaining chip held by the board: you agree to step down and not sue the company, and we'll agree not to fire you for cause and (maybe) will give you X amount of severance pay.

Resume? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989107)

Resumegate? What is this, Real Player?

Buffering.

He sounds like (1)

twoears (1514043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39989281)

He sounds like some kind of....oh wait, that's the company name.

mod 3owN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39989385)

you can. When the The m0ndane chores Apple too. No, and Michael Smith would choose to use my calling. Now I [tuxedo.org],

So, no CEO Accountant, but yes CEO Charlatan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39990227)

Wouldn't a qualified accountant make a better CEO then brainwashing charlatan?

Turnover on Yahoo's board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39990569)

I just noticed from the chart at the bottom of the Mercury News story [mercurynews.com] that with the changes just announced (including the departures of five longtime directors), the board has now turned over completely since 2009 when Carol Bartz was hired. If I'm reading this correctly, nobody on the new board was present when that happened.

The new chairman, Fred Amoroso, joined the board in February.

That was a Ken Starring if ever I saw one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39990667)

Coming up next:

Expect Microsoft to buy Yahoo in one week.

Expect all Yahoo services to stop working on Linux-and-Mac-based platforms in two weeks.

Thompson and Yahoo Are Both Burnt Toast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39991693)

The Culture Club Lives on at Yahoo. Just why the fuck do they call themselves ... Yahoos! Because they are, everyone, a yahoo. Nobody at Yahoo Inc. has an untainted, i.e. defendable, re'sume'.

Yahoo Inc. has become the Culture of Deceit ... just look no farther than the White House, i.e. the Executive Branch of the US Federal Government, for an even bigger Culture Club of Deceit.

LoL

Replacement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39995055)

> Thompson's likely replacement on an interim basis will be Yahoo's global media head Ross Levinsohn, who most recently also ran its Americas unit, including its advertising sales.

At least that's what it says on his resume.

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