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:
- Chapman Chides Vitesse, Again
- Vitesse Outlook Worsens – Even More
- Hedge Fund Vents on Vitesse
- Vitesse Execs Get the Axe
- Vitesse Woes Worsen
- Vitesse Brass Placed on Leave
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading