CNET Avoids Backdating Charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission has closed an investigation into stock options backdating at CNET Networks without charges.
The news came as a surprise, since the SEC has been aggressively pursuing companies for backdating stock options, the Recorder reports. The SEC did not comment on the reason for its decision to end the investigation of the company and three former executives.
CNET had acknowledged routine backdating of stock options from 1996 through 2003 and restated more than $105 million in past expenses as a result. A press release had attributed the backdating to the three executives, including general counsel Sharon Le Duy, but said it was unintentional. All three left the company.
Le Duy’s lawyer, Melinda Haag of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, told the Recorder the SEC recognized that her client did nothing wrong. “It’s unfortunate that she’s had to go through the events of the last year,” she said.