Comms chips

Vitesse's Story Continues

3:45 PM -- It was a surprise to most of us in 2006 when Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) fired then-CEO Lou Tomasetta and other executives. It was related to the stock-options backdating trend that would eventually snare almost all the surviving telecom-bubble companies.

Vitesse's case arose early, and it puzzled a lot of us because Tomasetta had always seemed like one of the good guys, so to speak -- a CEO who wasn't caught up in the sheer ego of the telecom bubble. It was hard to believe he'd committed any acts worth getting fired over.

But now, as the Department of Justice indicts Tomasetta and former CFO Eugene Hovanec on charges of revenue-recognition fraud, I don't think anyone is surprised. Even if you forgot that Vitesse uncovered questionable revenue practices shortly after firing the execs, the accusations -- which Tomasetta's attorney is vigorously denying -- don't seem so far-fetched.

It's just interesting to imagine what we all would have thought of this in 2000, or even in 2005. What if you'd been told back then that Tomasetta would be under indictment today, while securities charges against Henry Nicholas (former Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) CEO) were dismissed? I'm not suggesting Broadcom did anything wrong; I'm just talking about the executives' personalities. This isn't the future anyone would have guessed. (See Broadcom Options Case Disintegrates and Broadcom Founder Goes Free.)

To review, here's our coverage of Vitesse's eventful 2006, in reverse chronological order:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:15:51 PM
re: Vitesse's Story Continues

I gotta be honest: I'd forgotten that Vitesse had uncovered questionable revenue-reporting back in 2006.

What other post-bubble loose threads are still hanging around?

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