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Yahoo to claim 'cause' in Thompson ouster, report says

Now that former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is out, Yahoo will try to sidestep a major severance payout by claiming he violated a code of ethics, according to AllThingsD.

As Scott Thompson heads out the door at Yahoo, the new ex-CEO could stand to gain some serious cash in severance. That is, of course, unless Yahoo decides to say his ouster was with "cause."

Unfortunately for Thompson, claiming cause is exactly what Yahoo is planning to do, according to AllThingsD, citing "numerous sources." The company has reportedly cited a clause in Thompson's contract, called "Code of Ethics and Yahoo! Policies," that might save the company from doling out cash to him now that he has left.

For Thompson, getting that severance would mean a major cash windfall. According to terms of his contract that were filed by Yahoo with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this year, he would be entitled to the value of all of his restricted stock units at the time of his severance. Back in January, Yahoo valued those RSUs at $6.5 million.

Yahoo announced yesterday that Thompson had left the company, following the revelation that the resume he furnished to Yahoo prior to his hiring included mention of both an accounting and computer science degree. It was revealed recently that Thompson never had a computer science degree.

Yahoo announced that Ross Levinsohn will act as interim CEO until the company can find a replacement. It was also able to end its proxy contest with Third Point by installing the hedge fund's CEO Daniel Loeb, as well as two hand-picked Third Point board members, Harry Wilson and Michael Wolf, on the board.

Yahoo has yet to announce how it will handle Thompson's severance. CNET has contacted the company for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.