Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A CEO's minor lie is major to employees

Four days ago it became public and blogged about here that Yahoo's new CEO, Scott Thompson, had lied on his resume. He lists an accounting and computer science degree, when he has only an accounting degree.

I blogged about it Friday because of the impact on corporate culture, and several people protested because the lie was so minor and didn't matter. So minor, they insisted, it shouldn't even be called a lie but an oversight.

Late yesterday, the CEO apologized for the distraction the lie had caused. He did not apologize for the lie itself or explain how it had been perpetuated throughout his hiring or previous employers. In the memo obtained by CNN, Thompson says, "I want you to know how deeply I regret how this issue has affected the company and all of you." (Source: cnn.com)

Whether you call it a lie or an inadvertent oversight, or any other name, the issue, its cause, and its management have become major to the employees. 

From cnn.com: A senior Yahoo executive, who spoke to CNN on the condition that his name not be used, said: "Thompson has quickly lost the confidence of many employees, who think he has to go."

Managers and executives often underestimate the impact their actions have on the people around them. When you need your people to unite as a team to move a company forward, they need you to be truthful. They will notice if you're not, and the corporate culture will be impacted.

(Article at cnn.com)

What do you think? 
Would you care if your company leaders lied in a similar way?

May 13, 2012:
Yahoo confirmed late today that it's CEO, Scott Thompson, left the company as a result of the padded resume.
Article on cnn.com

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