Ok, so folks, let me tell you something that you did not know about me:

I am an IIM Ahmedabad Graduate! 

Yeah. Believe me.

Still have doubts? Check this out:

This is a photograph of me with other students, on the lawns of IIM A with Professor Rekha Jain sitting in the center (blue sari).

Now, that I have impressed you, let me bring you to the point of this post - which essentially tries to understand what happens when the CEO of a reputed Company 'lies'!!

Let me get straight to the point - This is about the case of the Yahoo CEO lying.

I assume you know that Scott Thompson - the newly elected CEO of Yahoo lied about his college degree (google for more info, in case you don't).

Mr. Thompson’s resume said he had earned both accounting and computer science degrees from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. After prodding by the hedge fund Third Point last week, Yahoo conceded that Mr. Thompson had earned only an accounting degree.


First of all, we all 'personally' write our resumes! 

I don't think our gardeners or valets carefully write our resumes for us, do they?

Also one assumes that people with Alzheimer’s disease get professional help when they write their resumes.

Final assumption is that people with Alzheimer’s don’t get appointed as CEOs. At least they do not get to become the Yahoo CEO, right?

(Ps - I am very sympathetic towards people with Alzheimer's. The context of using the disease in this post is not to ridicule people who are affected, but to make a strong, hard hitting point.)

Coming back to resume writing:

On a clean white word document, when I write my professional life story, I write what has happened to me, in my life!

I don't mix it up with fiction and poems that are in my head!

So, when I TYPE - 'Graduate from Sydenham College', I know that I went to Sydenham College!

I state that I have received a 'Bachelor of Commerce degree from Sydenham College, with a major in Economics and Accounting.'

Errrr..... I do not state that I have an additional degree from Sydenham in Aeronautical Physics and Aerodynamics (and not because Sydenham does not have that course, but because I did not study it!)

As I write my resume, the stuff that I studied, the Companies that I worked for, the jobs that I held... all flash before me.

Everything that I personally write in my resume 'has' happened!!! It's not a figment of my imagination! 

Therefore, I ask - How dare that someone of the stature and position of Scott Thompson actually has the audacity to lie about his college degree?

Why is this weak man mumbling and fumbling about it, and writing apology notes to his colleagues stating how sorry he is for the inconvenience he is causing them?

Why is he ‘darting in and out of meetings’?

How does he look into his colleagues' eyes and have real conversations with them?

Why hasn’t he so far exited the Yahoo office from the back window of the last cubicle of the men's toilet, never to appear again?

My thoughts:

People who lie have very low self-esteem.

They are folks who are not confident of what they have done and what they can do, and hence need to lie about things to project achievements, such as educational degrees and job titles.

Such people can never be leaders. Forget about even heading Companies.

In the case of Yahoo - it's a Company that needs a Napoleon, a Churchill, an Attila the Hun; someone who can lead Yahoo into the business battlefield and win.

Scott Thompson resembles a rat.

Lying has many variations.

Lies are black, white, grey, blue, yellow and pink in color. Lies can be as soft as you want them to be and as hard as graphene.

There is no way to figure out one lie from another, because a lie is a lie!

CEOs of Companies don’t lie. History is full of examples of men and women who have miserably failed to keep their Companies flying high when they have lied.

CEOs who lie need to be fired. And then prosecuted for ruining a Company’s business and work flow. 

Liars can never stop lying.

Now, don’t get me wrong! We were all liars – but as kids, teens and maybe even young adults. We lied to our parents and friends and colleagues and got caught and reprimanded and scolded and learnt our lessons.

As we became mature and responsible, we taught the same morals to our subordinates and our children! Oh yes, we stopped lying!

I will never trust Scott Thompson ever again. Because he lied at a position as a CEO, which by the way, is the highest position a corporate person can achieve.

Does Yahoo understand that when people like me will not trust Scott Thompson, then people like me will not trust Yahoo?!

As an entrepreneur, I have learnt quite the opposite actually. That instead of lying, when you speak the truth, this is what happens:

-       VCs love you because they like people who are honest and trustworthy.

-       An amazing clarity of mind emerges when you are truthful. Because you are not covering up anything, you just focus on the problems; not on the lies you said and need to protect.

-       What you say is what you do. People respect that.

Scott Thompson – I say you need to go to rehab and get your morals set right. And leave Yahoo’s dignity intact. It doesn’t deserve your bad lying karma.

Oh, if you are still wondering about the IIM A photograph - it was shot after I completed a small course there in 1994 in Software Export Management! 

And if you are still wondering, that course does not find a mention on my resume :-)


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The Key is that Yahoo has been fools while selecting CEOs in past 2-3 instances. I donot know  about their selection process, but this is one key reason why they are losing market to their competitors. Last few years there has been no innovation on part of Yahoo. While new companies are coming up with innovative ideas, established ones getting better, Yahoo is still running on the old shoes of Mail and News. 

Innovation has been lost  in Yahoo... so when they ask Do you Yahoo?? my answer would be No

If what you say abhishek about the selction of CEO's has been mis-done for past 2-3 times, then this actually is a challenge with recruitment... The recruitment process here has to be actually guided with a innovative perspective & more involved one... Also what you said, i truly agree, that Yahoo has not been able to connect with users on innovative ideas...

Yes he lied, period. From what I have read, the lie did not originate when he started at Yahoo, the lie originated (and must have) few years back when he was working on lesser senior positions. From there the lie carried forward and it must have been easier to go with the lie then retract on his lie and answer 1 million questions (or at least that is what he thought back then!).

But yes, agree with your points completely and can't agree more "People who lie have very low self-esteem."

Your pic is not matching --- fake!! :D

Jokes apart - At this level of hierarchy the person is not just the CEO, he/she represents the entire company and all the members associated with that group and nothing less then a brand ambassador. I think Scott's selection is more politically guided rather then value addition. Yahoo is in desperate need to cover their past failures and in that order they are just trying to bring someone on board. I think it high time for Yahoo to think and then think again before taking/leaking such news in the market. 


We got ur point while we would like to know more about the other courses and work and achievements that you did/receive  and not mention in ur resume ::)



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