Risk & Compliance

ComScore Names New CFO Amid Investigation

The media measurement firm says it has found "areas of concern" involving its accounting for non-monetary transactions.
Matthew HellerAugust 11, 2016

Media measurement firm ComScore has reshuffled top management, replacing its chief executive officer and CFO, amid an internal investigation into its accounting.

ComScore said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that its audit committee has identified “areas of potential concern” involving its accounting for “certain non-monetary transactions.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company had a practice of reporting non-monetary revenue, which appeared to have helped boost the compensation of its top executives.

“The company has not yet concluded whether any of these or other transactions of concern were incorrectly recorded at the time of the transactions,” the filing said.

As a result of the continuing investigation, comScore said, its second-quarter earnings report would be delayed. It was also late in filing its first-quarter and full year 2015 reports.

Separately, the company announced the management reshuffle, with co-founder Gian Fulgoni replacing Serge Matta as CEO. Melvin Wesley is stepping down as CFO and will be replaced by David Chemerow, who has been serving as chief revenue officer since January.

The Journal first called attention to comScore’s reporting of non-monetary revenue last August. “This revenue, which comes from data exchanges with other companies and has no cash attached, grew to become a significant contributor to overall revenue and growth,” the publication reported.

In the second quarter of 2015, non-monetary revenue peaked at $10.8 million, or 12% of total revenue. That compared with only $1.8 million, or 2% of revenue, a year earlier.

The additional revenue “appears to have helped boost the compensation of comScore’s top executives, among them Messrs. Matta and Wesley,” according to the Journal.

Since the Journal story, comScore’s shares were down 49% but they rose 4.5% to $27.20 in trading Wednesday. Despite the management changes, the WSJ said comScore’s “fundamental issues remain,” noting that it could still have to restate its financials and Fulgoni is a company insider.

ComScore measures audiences, brands and consumer behavior everywhere. It merged in January with Rentrak Corp, where Chemerow was CFO and chief operating officer.