After dodging accusations of resume padding, Yahoo's barely-there CEO Scott Thompson announced over the weekend that he is stepping down from the post he's held for barely four months. While Yahoo declined to give a reason for Thompson's departure, the Wall Street Journal reports that his decision to leave the company was at least partially influenced by a recent thyroid cancer diagnosis.
According to the Journal, the 54-year-old Thompson revealed his cancer diagnosis to the company's board and several colleagues late last week, before making the decision to step down amidst the resume controversy. According to sources inside Yahoo, Thompson did not bring up the cancer diagnosis earlier because he had hoped to keep the details private.
Thompson will be replaced by Ross Levinsohn, a former executive from News Corp who made his name by making smart investments (read: possibly not smart) like acquiring MySpace for Rupert Murdoch's evil empire. Levinsohn was twice passed over for the CEO gig at the floundering, annoyingly punctuated Internet portal: first when they hired Carol Bartz back in 2009 and again this year when Yahoo hired Thompson for the post. Levinsohn, a media guy who is well-regarded inside the company, apparently intends to keep driving Yahoo's revenue through display advertising — a direction Thompson had sought to move away from.
The executive shakeup is also a big win for the activists at the Third Point hedge fund, whose own manager Daniel Loeb initially called out Thompson's sketchy credentials. With Thompson out, Yahoo has reached a deal with Third Point to nominate three of their candidates to Yahoo's board of directors.
Updates to follow, assuming Carol Bartz shouts something obscene at somebody.