Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson has resigned from his position at the Sunnyvale, Calif., based company after investor's revealed a misrepresentation in his resume.
A recent inquiry in to Thompson's records by activist shareholder Daniel Loeb of the hedge fund Third Point, showed that the Yahoo CEO didn't really acquire the computer science degree that his resume said he did.
Having graduated Stonehill College with a bachelors in accounting, Thompson's official biography at Yahoo and Paypal, where he worked previously, says that he also has a degree in computer science.
Melinda Blackman, a professor of psychology at California State University, Fullerton, suggests in a CNN report that Thompson probably could have gone further and claimed he had a master's degree in engineering and no one would have questioned it. Holding these credentials seems very plausible for someone with Thompson's job history. And since he was a well-known and successful executive, a background check was probably put on the back burner.
Blackman cites the term Groupthink as something that would explain how Thompson skidded by the hiring process without anybody noticing.
Coined by Irving Janis in 1972, groupthink describes ill-fated decisions, such as the one in the Bay of Pigs invasion or the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger. According to Janis, In such instances, small, cohesive committees engage in flawed decision-making while being under the gun to produce a result quickly.
Apparently, group members feel the need to conform and be in a consensus, despite what their gut instincts tell them.
While details specific to the former Yahoo CEO's hiring process are slowly being revealed, the executive search committee that was responsible for his review may have engaged in the groupthink practice.
In Thompson's case, it turns out that a formal resume was never even submitted, and that he reached out directly to Yahoo about that job, according to CNN Report.
Whether he was responsible for enhancing his resume, he is not the only the first CEO to have been caught with forged credentials.
Click start to see some other CEO's who have come under fire for misleading resumes.