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Comms chips

Options Antics

2:20 PM -- Options results keep trickling in, like late election returns. Not that a stack of numbers makes for an exciting blog, but since there aren't any press releases to post, we ought to report this somewhere...

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) chimed in this week with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 8-K forms, each company's internal investigation having uncovered backdating and/or manipulation of stock options.

In Marvell's case, executives are paying back (to Marvell) the profits from questionable options they'd exercised. It's not chump change, either: Sehat Sutardja, the CEO, chairman, and president, paid $5,355,001 to Marvell, while COO Weili Dai paid $3,421,249, the filing says.

The two other Marvell execs named were CTO Pantas Sutardja, who paid back $217,178, and CFO George Hervey, who paid $615,673, according to the filing. All four execs have also had some outstanding options repriced.

The Broadcom changes are small potatoes by comparison, and involve only the repricing of outstanding options for three executives. Most notable is the case of CFO Thomas Lagatta, who gets exercise prices raised by $2 or $3 on 173,132 outstanding options. All told, the move spirits away roughly $525,000 in paper profits.

Barely related news: Since I was on vacation when it happened, I'll also note that Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) completed its internal audit on Dec. 19. Investor Robert Chapman didn't get his wish of Louis Tomasetta and James Cole resigning from the board, but chairman John C. Lewis did step down, as of Jan. 1.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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