Warren Buffett: Yahoo has a trust problem

Warren Buffett weighed in on Yahoo’s embattled chief executive Scott Thompson on Monday , saying that the company has to deal with its trust issue.

“[If] you can't trust the people you're working with, you've got a problem,” Buffett said in an interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick.

Buffett questioned Yahoo’s initial reaction to news that Thompson claimed to have a computer science degree he had in fact not earned, saying it was an “inadvertent error.”

Said Buffett: “I don't know all the facts, but just from the few sentences I read, it doesn't sound like an inadvertent error. And I would say this, if I thought— if I had thought that, as a director, if I thought that a— an officer had consistently misstated some fact to me, I think I'd probably do something about it.”

The discrepancy was brought to light by Yahoo activist investor Daniel Loeb, who is locked in a proxy fight with the company’s board of directors and demanded Friday that Thompson be fired by noon Monday.

Yahoo let the deadline pass without comment, but Loeb isn’t letting the issue rest.

In a new letter provided to The Washington Post, the company’s largest outside investor demanded that Yahoo release documentation of Thompson’s hiring process as well as the board appointments of Patti Hart, Peter Liguori, John Hayes, Thomas McInerney, Maynard Webb Jr. and Fred Amoroso.

“We believe that this internal investigation by this Board must not be conducted behind a veil of secrecy and shareholders deserve total transparency,” Third Point wrote in its letter.

Related stories:

Yahoo weighing options on Scott Thompson situation, report says

Yahoo investor demands Thompson resign by Monday

Yahoo: Scott Thompson’s résumé scandal draws quick scorn

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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