Human Capital & Careers

Former Quest Software CFO Resigns

One-time general counsel refuses to participate in special options investigation.
Stephen TaubNovember 27, 2006

The former chief financial officer of Quest Software resigned because he refused to answer questions about the company’s stock options practices. M. Brinkley Morse, who was most recently senior vice president, corporate development, declined to be interviewed by a special committee investigating the company’s past stock option grant practices and related accounting, according to a company regulatory filing released on Friday.

Morse had been responsible for Quest’s investment and acquisition strategy. Prior to that, he served as Quest’s CFO from January 2001 to April 2005.

In July, the company said it would restate its results from 2000 to 2005 and for the quarter ended March 31, 2006 to correct improper accounting for stock options. In making the announcement, the company stated that, “The administrative approvals required to establish the accounting measurement dates for many of the company’s stock option grants awarded during the period from the fall of 1999 and into 2002 were actually obtained subsequent to the measurement dates used for financial reporting purposes.”

Morse’s path to the CFO seat has been somewhat unusual. After receiving a bachelor’s degree of business administration from the University of Texas, and a law degree (LLB) from Tulane University, he practiced corporate finance and securities law at Vinson & Elkins. From 1988 to 1998, Morse was BMC Software’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary. Then, from 1998 to 2000, he was BMC’s senior vice president, corporate development, with responsibility for mergers and acquisitions, minority investments, strategic alliances and strategic planning.