Juniper CFO Resigns

The network-equipment maker disclosed last December that it would take a $900 million charge related to erroneously dated option grants.
Stephen TaubMarch 14, 2007

Juniper Networks, which recently became up-to-date with its financial filings, announced that executive vice president and chief financial officer Robert Dykes has resigned.

The maker of computer network equipment praised Dykes, who had led the company’s finance, legal, IT, investor relations, and manufacturing organizations, asserting that he “has driven significant advances in streamlining Juniper’s manufacturing processes.”

Juniper, which also announced the resignation of Robert Sturgeon, executive vice president for the company’s Service Layer Technology Group, stressed that neither departure was due to any disagreement with the company regarding its operations, policies, or practices.

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Several days ago, Juniper filed its 2006 annual report and its reports for the second and third quarters of last year. The company asserted that it has now regained compliance with the requirements for continued listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Juniper is one of many companies caught up in the stock option backdating scandal.

In December, Juniper disclosed that it would take a $900 million non-cash charge for stock-based compensation expense stemming from erroneously dated option grants awarded between June 9, 1999, and December 31, 2003.

The $900 million was one of the largest charges taken by a company since option backdating came to light. Juniper’s disclosure followed a seven-month independent investigation, after which the company’s audit committee expressed “serious concerns” about certain former management.

Juniper directors Kenneth Levy and Frank Marshall — who have ties to other companies with options-related accounting problems — left Juniper’s board in the past two months, noted the Associated Press. Juniper has not implicated either man in any wrongdoing, the AP added.