Ex-CEO of Monster Resigns From Board

By Staff Report

Oct. 30, 2006

Online jobs site operator Monster Worldwide Inc. said Monday, October 30, that chairman emeritus Andrew McKelvey has resigned after refusing to be interviewed by board members investigating the company’s past stock options practices.

The company said McKelvey’s lawyer told the special committee of the board reviewing stock option grants that he had declined to be interviewed on the last scheduled date and would not assure the committee that he would submit to an interview on another date.

Attorneys for McKelvey said he “misunderstood” questions asked by Monster’s independent counsel in July related to the options probe.

“During the time period relevant to your questions, he did not understand that it was improper for the exercise price of stock options to be different than the price on the grant dates,” wrote Manatt Phelps & Phillips attorney Steven Reich in a letter accompanying a Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory filing by Monster.

McKelvey, who founded the company in 1967, resigned as Monster’s chairman and CEO earlier this month, citing the “demands of time” needed to deal with the options probe.

The company is among some 120 companies ensnared in a widening stock option backdating scandal, which has shaken up more than a dozen companies in the New York area. Just last week, Comverse Technology Inc.’s former CFO, David Kreinberg, became the first executive to plead guilty to his role in backdating stock options at the Manhattan software services firm.

Meanwhile, Monster has been scrambling to maintain its No. 1 overall market share in the multibillion-dollar business of job listings by expanding in local markets. The company has been battling against entrenched rivals like Chicago-based CareerBuilder, as well as newer players like Craigslist.

–Catherine Tymkiw

This story originally appeared in Crain’s New York Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management, where Tymkiw is a reporter.

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