What does lying on your résumé get you? For a lot of people apparently a lot of trouble. Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is in trouble. Apparently his résumé lists that he had two degrees from Stonehill College, earned in 1979. But in reality he does not. He has an accounting degree but not the computer science degree also listed. Daniel Loeb, hedge fund manager demanded that Yahoo’s new CEO be fired for résumé falsification or face possible legal action. Reading this made me ask the question does resume lying really matter if you can perform or is it a matter of integrity that is hard to overlook?
In Thompson’s case he has only been with Yahoo a couple of months. Yahoo is not doing all that well and apparently he was brought in to turn it around. Probably too early to tell if he can perform or not. So the question then becomes does a lie on a résumé bring into question his integrity? Do people suspect that as a result of this lie he may lie on other things, things that may be detrimental to the company? Should he be fired for this lie?
Before you answer this let me ask you, what if Thompson had come in and had a miraculous effect and Yahoo was already in just two short months on its way to high profitability? Would they be firing him then?
What if there was a time difference? What if he had been there ten years and this lie was just now discovered? Would it make any difference? If the company had been performing and growing as a result of his leadership would they quibble about a resume lie that was 10 years old?
In your mind is integrity an eternal trait? Or does time heal lies? Or does performance heal lies? Is there some sort of statute of limitations?