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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

IGT CEO Hart will not stand for re-election to Yahoo board

9 May 2012

International Game Technology Chief Executive Officer Patti Hart said Tuesday she would not stand for re-election to her outside board position with Internet giant Yahoo after her board performance and academic credentials were questioned.

Hart, CEO of the slot machine giant since April 2009, headed the search committee that selected new CEO Scott Thompson. Representatives for Third Point LLC, a major Yahoo investor now fighting for representation on the company's board, have accused Thompson of claiming a computer science degree he did not earn, and have faulted Hart and the Yahoo board for failing to vet him.

A subsequent Yahoo internal investigation found that Hart's biographical information also misstated her academic credentials, describing a business administration degree with emphasis in marketing and economics as a degree in marketing and economics.

In a related move Tuesday, IGT released a statement from Hart and company Chairman Philip Satre, saying the board "found no material inconsistencies in Hart's academic credentials."

Satre said Hart was asked not to seek re-election to the Yahoo board because it "could become a distraction from her responsibilities to IGT."

Satre said the IGT board, "unanimously stands behind Patti as our CEO and fully supports her leadership and the direction she has set for the company. We will closely monitor future developments at Yahoo and their impact on Patti's responsibilities to IGT."

In the same statement, Hart said she decided to step down from the Yahoo board "after careful consideration."

"My primary responsibilities are to serve as chief executive officer of IGT and to eliminate activities that may interfere with my ability to carry out my commitments to IGT and its valued stakeholders," Hart said.

Hart has been a member of IGT's board of directors since June 2006. Before joining IGT she was CEO of two California-based technology companies.

On Sunday the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Hart was the sixth-highest paid CEO in Las Vegas with $8.533 million in total compensation in 2011, and the only woman among the 16 highest paid CEOs.

Hart, 54, was recently inducted into to the Hall of Fame of her alma mater, Illinois State University. In announcing her award, IGT said she graduated "with a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics."

This is not the first time a gaming industry CEO's academic credentials have been questioned. The 2008 retirement of the late Terry Lanni, chairman and CEO of the then-MGM Mirage Inc., was marred by revelations that he lacked a master's of business administration degree listed in his corporate biography.
IGT CEO Hart will not stand for re-election to Yahoo board is republished from iGamingSuppliers.com.