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Altera Taps GE Veteran as CFO

His predecessor departed the company last year on the same day the company concluded an internal options probe.
Stephen TaubJanuary 16, 2007

Altera has gone to General Electric’s deep bench to hire its new chief financial officer.

The maker of programmable microchips named Timothy R. Morse senior vice president and CFO. Morse, a 15-year GE veteran, was most recently the finance chief and general manager of business development for its GE Plastics division, which the parent company recently put on the block, according to TheStreet.com.

“Tim brings a wealth of experience from one of the world’s most admired companies,” said Altera president and CEO John Daane, in a press release.

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He succeeds James Callas, who had served as acting CFO and principal financial and accounting officer since October, when Nathan Sarkisian retired a few months earlier than expected as finance chief.

On the day of Sarkisian’s departure, Altera announced that it had completed a review of its past stock option practices and related accounting matters that found seven mismatches between recorded and actual grant dates. The company added that it expected to restate results by $47.6 million on a pre-tax basis.

Altera no doubt hopes that Morse will improve the company’s relationship with Wall Street. In 2005, Sarkisian became embroiled in a dispute with an analyst who claimed the company was not communicating with him or letting him ask questions on earnings calls. Sarkisian ultimately issued a public apology.