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WSJ: Thompson told Yahoo board he has cancer

Nancy Weil | May 15, 2012
Scott Thompson told the Yahoo board before he was ousted as CEO over the weekend that he has thyroid cancer, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

That seems to be a reference to Thompson's brief tenure as CEO. He was appointed to the post in early January and quickly made management changes and announced layoffs. About 2,000 positions were cut at Yahoo. Those layoffs were a catalyst in triggering Loeb to take action, with the investor arguing that Thompson should not have begun that level of job cuts without having first laid out a more detailed strategy.

Yahoo, once a leading Internet company, has stumbled in recent years as fierce competition from Google and later Facebook, among others, dented the company both in terms of users and finances. Thompson's hiring was widely seen as the balm that would soothe the company's wounds, brought in to replace Carol Bartz, whose no-nonsense, blunt style soon became more of a focus than the effort she put in to trying to turn the company around. Bartz was fired last September.

Yahoo also had rejected an acquisition offer from Microsoft, which remained a sticking point, including with Loeb, who cited that decision as one in a string of management errors.


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