As Yahoo Discusses CEO, What Became of Other Execs in Trouble?

Photograph by CJ Burton/Corbis

Many executives have gotten into trouble over their resumes. Some resigned, were fired or held onto their jobs.

As Yahoo’s board meets to discuss CEO Scott Thompson, who just apologized to his staff for the fallout over his resume, here’s a look at what happened to other executives whose academic credentials were called into question:

  • Veritas Software Corp.’s Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Lonchar resigned in 2002 after admitting he lied about having a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University. “I regret this misstatement of my educational background,” Lonchar said in a statement sent by the company.
  • In 2002, Ron Zarrella, CEO of contact lenses manufacturer Bausch & Lomb Inc., issued a correction to his resume, admitting that he never earned an MBA at New York University, though he took classes at the school. “It was pretty stupid, I told the directors I was responsible,” Zarrella said at the time. He continued as the company’s CEO until 2008, when he became the company’s chairman emeritus.
  • MCG Capital Corp., a financing and investment company, said in 2002 that CEO Bryan Mitchell didn’t get a bachelor of arts degree from Syracuse University as previously disclosed. Mitchell informed the board that he didn’t get the degree, his assistant told Bloomberg News.  He resigned as the company’s chairman and agreed to repay a bonus, but continued as the company’s top executive until 2006.
  • In 2006, RadioShack Corp. ousted Chief Executive Officer David Edmondson after he admitted he lied about his education. He claimed to have earned degrees in theology and psychology from Pacific Coast College in California, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • In May of 2008, Herbalife Ltd. said Chief Operating Officer Gregory Probert resigned after faking academic qualifications on his resume. While Probert enrolled in the master’s of business administration program at California State University, Los Angeles, he never obtained a degree, the company said.
  • In 2009, it came out that Concur Technologies Inc.’s Chairman and CEO Steve Singh didn’t earn a degree at the University of Michigan. Regulatory filings about the degree, which had been claimed since 1998, were “incorrect” until January of 2007, Singh said. The company’s board supported its embattled leader, and said in a statement, “The board expressed its regret that the mistake occurred and its complete confidence in Mr. Singh, his abilities and his proven leadership.”
  • Microsemi Corp. found in 2009 that CEO James Peterson didn’t receive degrees he had claimed from Brigham Young University. Peterson had earlier denied that he had misrepresented his degrees, following a Bloomberg News report. He was censured and fined, but remained with the company as chief executive.


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