Excerpted from a Business Insider story by Vivian Giang and Jhaneel Lockhart
A little fibbing on your résumé might not seem like a big deal when you’re applying for a low-ranking position, but you never know where your professional career will end up. As these top-notch executives prove, even if your career stays intact, be prepared to be publicly shamed, or at least embarrassed.
Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine
In 2008, British chef Robert Irvine was fired from his own show on the Food Network’s “Dinner Impossible” when it was uncovered that he didn’t actually design the royal couple’s wedding cake, but that he only attended the school where it was made and contributed by picking fruit for the cake.
An MIT Dean
Marilee Jones had been with MIT for 28 years before the university realized that she never received the undergraduate or master’s degrees that she said she got on her résumé. In fact, Jones never received any college degrees. In 2007, she resigned stating on the university’s website that she had “misrepresented her academic degrees to the institute.”
An IBM President
In 1999, it was revealed that Jeffrey Papows, president of IBM’s software maker Lotus Development, fibbed about his academic and military background. Jon Auerbach at ZDNet reported that Papows said he was a pilot when he was actually an air traffic controller and a captain when he was actually a first lieutenant in the Marines. He also said he got his PhD from Pepperdine, but actually got it from an unaccredited correspondence school.
Wall Street Analyst
At one time, Salomon Smith Barney’s Jack Grubman was Wall Street’s highest-paid analyst with a salary of $20 million per year. Then it was uncovered that he never attended MIT like he told his employers. In an interview with BusinessWeek, Grubman said that he lied because he “probably felt insecure.”
Former Notre Dame Head Coach
Five days after being named as Notre Dame’s new head coach, George O’Leary was forced to resign for lying about a master’s degree in education from New York University that he never received. The university did verify that he was a student there in the ’70s, but that he never graduated. Furthermore, O’Leary told his employers that he played college football for three years at the University of New Hampshire, but, in actuality, he never even played a game of football.
Bausch & Lomb CEO
Ronald Zarrella had to give up his $1 million bonus when it was revealed that he never received his MBA from NYU like he claimed he did. He actually started the program, but never finished it. However, Bausch & Lomb — a supplier of eye health products — decided that Zarrella was too valuable to the company and he was able to keep his job, but eventually left in 2008.
David Edmondson joined Radio Shack in 1994 and quickly advanced in the company until he became CEO in 2005. A year after attaining his new title, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reported that Edmondson had not earned degrees in theology and psychology from Heartland Baptist Bible College as he had claimed. Radio Shack’s board of directors stood up for their new CEO, but Edmondson decided to resign.
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