Last week’s media frenzy focused on Scott Thompson , the new CEO of Yahoo! , who claimed to have earned a degree in computer science when in fact, his degree was in accounting. Some see the slight fudging of a college degree earned thirty years ago as insignificant, while others say you can’t compartmentalize trust, and that if you lie on the small issues you will lie.
End of story.
We will get to the lessons learned from the saga but first, a brief story.
The year was 1990 and we had been retained by a major corporation to recruit a president for a division. We conducted a national search and found what we thought was the perfect candidate. Susan (not her real name) had everything our client was seeking and was open to relocating from the East Coast to California.
As is typical of search firms, we began checking references and verifying the educational degrees as our client prepared the offer. We called the university that Susan listed on her resume and were unconcerned when the registrar could not find her name. This happens frequently when women graduate under their maiden name and change their name as they marry. Back then, even for large universities, you did not need release forms, nor did you need social security numbers. You just called and noted whom you spoke with and what they confirmed.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page