Tech wrap: PayPal darling takes Yahoo reigns

January 4, 2012

Yahoo named PayPal President Scott Thompson CEO as the company plows ahead with a strategic review in which discussions have included the possibility of being sold, taken private or broken up. Thompson, a former Visa payments software platform designer, joins the company five months after the firing of previous CEO Carol Bartz.

Thompson has been credited with driving growth at eBay’s online payments division. After the Yahoo appointment, some questioned if he could replicate his success as CEO of Yahoo. “The risk element is that his background was in payments. And this is not a payment company, it’s a marketing, technology company,” said Lawrence Haverty, a fund manager with GAMCO investors, which owns Yahoo shares.

Eastman Kodak is working on a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing that could be filed as soon as this month if it cannot sell its digital patents, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The newspaper said Kodak is in talks with lenders to secure about $1 billion in debtor-in possession financing to sustain it through any bankruptcy proceedings.

Microsoft said it is suing Britain’s second-largest electronics retailer Comet for allegedly creating and selling more than 94,000 sets of “counterfeit” recovery CDs of its Windows operating system to customers buying Windows-loaded PCs and laptops. A spokesman for Kesa, which owns Comet, told Reuters that Comet provided the disks as a service to its customers between March 2008 and December 2009, but stopped the practice when Microsoft objected. He said Comet sold the disks as many buyers of PCs and laptops did not create their own recovery CDs and faced problems when their computers failed.

Securities regulators charged an investment adviser with using LinkedIn and other social media networking websites to lure investors by offering more than $500 billion in fake securities. The SEC alleged that Anthony Fields, 54, of Lyons, Illinois, made the fraudulent offers to sell securities through two sole proprietorships. The agency said Fields provided false and misleading information about clients, assets under management and even the history of his firm’s business.

Twitter apologized for incorrectly verifying a false account for Wendi Deng, the wife of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. The fake account with the handle @Wendi_Deng popped up on Sunday soon after a real Twitter account was started by the media mogul on New Year’s eve. The Wendi account was initially verified by Twitter, featuring the well-known blue tick which shows Twitter has confirmed the account belongs to the named person. But by early Tuesday, Twitter was forced to remove its famous blue tick from the Wendi account after it said it confirmed the account did not belong to her. AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher said it was a case of mistaken punctuation.

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