Yahoo shoved aside Thompson, 54, after a dissident shareholder uncovered misinformation in his official biography filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bio listed a bachelor’s degree in computer science that he never received, raising doubts about Thompson’s integrity that led to his departure after just four months on the job.
Yahoo last week replaced Thompson, hiring longtime Google Inc. executive Marissa Mayer as its fifth CEO in the past five years. Another Yahoo executive, Ross Levinsohn, had been filling in as interim CEO.
ShopRunner evidently had no qualms about Thompson’s troubles at Yahoo. Michael Golden, who had been ShopRunner’s CEO and is staying on as the service’s president, hailed Thompson as “the perfect long-term CEO.”
In his new job, Thompson will be running a privately held company with connections to one of his former employers, eBay Inc.Thompson led eBay’s online payment service, PayPal, before defecting to Yahoo at the beginning of the year.
ShopRunner began as part of GSI Commerce, which eBay bought for $2.4 billion last year. After that deal closed, eBay spun off ShopRunner into another company but still retains a 30 percent stake in the service.
The new job appears to be major step down for Thompson. As CEO of Yahoo, he was being paid a $1 million salary with an annual bonus of up to $2 million while overseeing a famous Internet company with $5 billion in annual revenue.
ShopRunner, in contrast, is a 2-year-old service still trying to establish itself as part of a small, privately held company called Kynetic that’s owned by GSI founder Michael Rubin. Kynetic also controls two other e-commerce services, Fanatics and Rue La La, that were spun out of GSI after last year’s eBay acquisition.
ShopRunner offers two-day shipping for online purchases made by its subscribers, who pay a $79 annual fee. The service is similar to online retailer Amazon.com Prime option, which also provides two-day shipping and access to a library of Internet videos for the same $79 annual price.
The retailers offering two-day shipping through ShopRunner include Toys R Us, GNC, Petsmart, Sports Authority, Lord & Taylor and AutoZone.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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