Human Capital & Careers

Monster Fires Top Lawyer over Options Probe

Fired "for cause," the general counsel will not receive certain severance-related payments.
Stephen TaubNovember 22, 2006

Monster Worldwide says it fired vice president, general counsel, and secretary Myron Olesnyckyj, for cause. He was suspended on September 19. In a press release, the company said the action was related to a review of its historical stock-option grant practices. Because he was fired for cause, Olesnyckyj will not qualify for certain severance-related payments.

Last month Monster named William Pastore chief executive officer after founder Andrew McKelvey resigned as chairman emeritus, saying he declined to be interviewed by a special committee of the board charged with reviewing stock-option grants. In June the company launched an internal review, and the following month it warned it may restate prior years’ results to record additional noncash charges for stock-based compensation expense relating to various stock-option grants.

Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal raised questions about the timing of stock-option grants at Monster. It reported, for example, that between 1997 and 2001, Monster made seven grants to James J. Treacy, who eventually became the company’s number-two executive. It pointed out that the dates for four of the grants correspond to the stock’s lowest closing price of a quarter or year.

Monster was also one of 138 companies cited in a Glass, Lewis & Co. report for submitting a late-filing notice for the second quarter of 2006. Late-filing notices, according to the report, were up 52 percent from year-earlier levels.