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Does Yahoo!'s Scott Thompson Deserve A Break? MBAs Around The World Share Their Views

Sloppy HR and pressure to big up his qualifications led to CEO's downfall, but America is a country of second chances say MBAs

Yahoo ex-Chief Executive Scott Thompson, resigned on Sunday amid allegations that he had misrepresented the qualifications on his resume.

Thompson’s resumé claimed he had obtained a Bachelor's degree in computer science and accounting from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. The college subsequently confirmed that he had achieved only the accounting degree.Thompson was brought in from PayPal, the online payment firm where he was President, in January.

We asked MBAs to share their views on the fiasco. The questions we put to them were: How much is integrity worth in business? if a person can do the job does it matter that their CV is embellished? Have you experienced people acting similarly in your professional life? Do you think this is the end of his career?

Nitin Misra, full-time MBA at St. Gallen says:
The purpose of corporations should be to do well in a good manner. And if senior executives show unethical behaviour in trivial matters, how will investors have faith in them? It surely is the final innings for Scott Thompson at Yahoo! I believe these kinds of incidents reinforce the necessity of ethics in education. As well as innovation and creativity, education should also reflect upon the responsibilities of leaders and ethics.

Kofi K. Boakye, full-time MBA at EMLYON Business School says:
In terms of how widespread this is, I would suspect that it really varies by culture, I have a hard time imagining we might see such "slipped in additions" in countries like Germany or Finland, but it might be more prevalent in Anglo-American cultures where individuals are guided to really put their best face forward, which might call for a little makeup.

I imagine HR managers come across a multitude of "white lies" which normally should be verifiable with simple reference checks. In the case of Yahoo! and even Paypal we might actually be seeing a case of shoddy HR work.

His career may not be over, as America really is a country of second chances, but the window for him to become CEO of an established Fortune 500 company may be extremely tiny. It is a shame that the individual in question honestly felt his only chance to get into the tech industry was to have some form of computer science degree associated with him.

Makes one wonder if we are placing too much emphasis on degrees and not the person's ability and mastery of the subject, because as we can see he clearly understood the business and industry at such a level that allowed him to make it as far as he did without the degree... pretty ironic right?

Trey Zagante, AGSM EMBA 2010 says:
I have come across someone who embellished his resume for a job role. It is not uncommon for people to fine tune resumes in order to get specific role. I think it is quite a common practice but this happens to be a high profile example of someone who’s been caught out. If a person has the skills and experience to get them to such a point then I wonder if people just haven’t made a grand deal of something that happened years ago.

After a board meeting on Sunday morning, the company announced that Thompson, who has led the embattled web giant for less than six months, would be replaced by Ross Levinsohn with immediate effect.

If you've got a different opinion or viewpoint to those expressed in this story please share your thoughts below in the comments section & continue the debate!

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