GCs Take Career Hit in Backdating Scandals
General counsel at 14 Silicon Valley companies have seen their careers slide under the taint of backdating scandals.
The Recorder (sub. req.) investigated the fate of general counsel at 39 Silicon Valley companies that restated financial results because of backdating. Four of them faced government charges, and 10 more either were blamed for the company’s problems or left their companies, sometimes involuntarily.
At least 12 former general counsel are no longer practicing law, the publication says. One lawyer, Susan Skaer, was the top lawyer at Mercury Interactive Corp. for five years. Today she sells real estate under her married name, Susan Tanner, while she fights charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Robert Major, a recruiter at Major, Lindsey & Africa, said some general counsel who did nothing wrong are still having problems landing jobs. “A lot of these people were innocent, but the reality is that boards became so skittish on this issue that they didn’t want to take a chance on being second-guessed if they hired a ‘tainted’ general counsel,” Major told the Recorder.