In-House Counsel

GC Scolded for Backdating Warning Lands New Job

The former general counsel of KLA-Tencor who sparred with the company’s then-CEO over stock options backdating has been named the new top lawyer for another Silicon Valley company.

Stuart Nichols will make $250,000 a year at his new employer, MIPS Technologies, the San Jose Mercury News reports. He is also eligible for stock options and a bonus of up to $200,000 a year, according to the offer letter (posted by the Mercury News).

Observers told the Recorder that Nichols may be the first general counsel to be offered a new general counsel job after leaving a company accused of backdating.

Nichols is known for his exchange of memos with KLA-Tencor’s then-CEO Ken Schroeder. Nichols warned Schroeder about legal requirements surrounding options backdating in a March 2001 memo. Schroeder replied with an e-mail that read: “Help me, don’t just tell me how to follow a strict interpretation of rules. I need a ‘wartime counselor,’ not someone who can recite page and verse.”

Schroeder now faces SEC civil charges along with Nichols’ predecessor, Lisa Berry, in connection with options backdating.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.