Update: Yahoo forms committee to investigate its CEO

Three board members will look into Scott Thompson's education and Yahoo's hiring process

Yahoo's board of directors announced Tuesday that it has formed a special committee to investigate CEO Scott Thompson's academic credentials , as well as documents and circumstances surrounding his hiring earlier this year.

The three-member committee will be led by Alfred Amoroso, who joined Yahoo's board in February. Members John Hayes and Thomas McInerney, who joined the board last month, also are on the committee, according to the company.

Yahoo also said it has hired outside counsel Terry Bird of the law firm Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks and Licenberg, which is based in Los Angeles. The firm is said to specialize in litigation and internal investigations.

"The special committee and the entire board appreciate the urgency of the situation and the special committee will therefore conduct the review in an independent, thorough and expeditious manner," the board said in a statement. "The board intends to make the appropriate disclosures to shareholders promptly upon completion of the review."

Yahoo's statement did not address reports that board member Patti Hart, who led the CEO search committee that hired Thompson, is stepping down from her position.

The struggling Internet company has been under fire since it came to light last week that there was a discrepancy in Thompson's resume. The resume contended that Thompson had a computer science degree, which he does not.

The erroneous background information also was submitted in documents to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Daniel Loeb, CEO of Third Point LLC, and Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital, have called for Thompson to be investigated and replaced. It was Loeb who revealed the resume inaccuracy to the SEC.

Loeb also revealed inaccuracies in Hart's resume. The document stated that she held a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics from Illinois State University. Yahoo later acknowledged that Hart's degree was a B.S. in "business administration with specialties in marketing and economics."

Thompson, sent a memo to company employees Monday apologizing for the disruption at the company. However, the memo, did not address the issue of his resume.

"As I told you on Friday, the board is reviewing the issue, and I will provide whatever they need from me," Thompson wrote in the memo, which was reprinted by the Financial Times. "In the meantime, I want you to know how deeply I regret how this issue has affected the company and all of you. We have all been working very hard to move the company forward, and this has had the opposite effect. For that, I take full responsibility, and I want to apologize to you."

Information from an IDG News Service story was included in this report.

Yahoo has acknowledged that its new CEO, Scott Thompson, does not hold a degree in "accounting and computer science" as his resume and the company's financial filings claimed, and instead majored only in accounting.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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