Yahoo investor pushes for interim CEO

Daniel Loeb suggests Ross Levinsohn or Tim Morse

Activist investor Daniel Loeb ratcheted up the pressure on Yahoo Wednesday urging the company to name head of global media Ross Levinsohn or CFO Tim Morse as interim CEO after current chief executive Scott Thompson apparently lied on his resume.

In another strongly worded letter to Yahoo’s board, Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point suggested Morse or Levinsohn for the role “assuming neither had any knowledge of Mr. Thompson’s fabrications.” And it asked that its board nominee Michael Wolf, former COO of MTV Networks, be named to chair a search committee for a new permanent CEO.

Third Point threw Yahoo and Wall Street for a loop last week when it revealed that Thompson had likely fabricated a degree in computer science from Stonehill College outside Boston, where he graduated in accounting.

The head of the committee that hired him resigned Tuesday and Yahoo Tuesday set up another committee to investigate the situation. Loeb called it “farcical to us that the Board will most likely spend more time deliberating over whether Mr. Thompson should be fired than it did properly vetting whether he should have been hired.”

“Yahoo has been left to flounder under a discredited leader for an undefined period,” he said. Naming a new interim CEO is the only way to “move past this embarrassing episode.”

Morse previously served as interim CEO after Yahoo fired Carol Bartz last year and resumed his CFO role when Thompson moved to the top job at Yahoo from Paypal in January.

“Third Point has over $1 billion invested in Yahoo and we take no joy in witnessing this carnage,” Loeb said.

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