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October 31, 2006

CEO Eaten by the Monster

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/31/2006 02:05:00 AM

Andrew McKelvey qualifies as the first CEO to be eaten by a Monster, that is Monster Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq MNST). The founder of Monster got gorged after he fattened himself with too many portions of backdated stock options while serving himself as CEO. Why fatten up? Why not?

Mr. McKelvey, who founded the company that was the precursor of Monster 39 years ago, had been the company's chairman and chief executive until earlier this month, when he stepped down from both posts, citing the demands of dealing with the options probe. Yesterday, he resigned his remaining positions as director and chairman emeritus. Monster is the parent of the popular Monster.com job-search Web site.

By the way, he lied when he was asked whether he backdated his options.

Behind yesterday's departure was an initial interview Mr. McKelvey, 71 years old, gave in July to the lawyers at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld LLP conducting an internal probe for a special committee of Monster's board. At that time, Mr. McKelvey said that he had no knowledge of any options backdating at Monster, a person familiar with his interview said. This person said that Akin Gump lawyers found evidence contradicting this assertion.

By the way, everyone should give the poor old man a break. After all he is 71 years old and in his confusion and old age he didn't know that backdating was illegal and akin to taking from shareholders and sticking the money in his own pocket. I feel so bad for him. What a poor fella. It makes me want to sing a dirge for him.

Mr. McKelvey's lawyer, Steven F. Reich, said in the letter that his client had "misunderstood" what the July questions were about, and "focused too narrowly on the issue of whether he knew at the time that improper conduct had occurred, and not on the more general issue of whether backdating had occurred." Mr. Reich added that his client now wished to make clear that he didn't understand at the time that backdating of options was improper or that the practice could have legal or accounting implications.

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