Verisign Taps Finance Pro as CEO

The troubled Internet company names a former finance chief of Science Applications International Corp.
Stephen TaubMay 29, 2007

VeriSign named William A. Roper, Jr., a one-time CFO who has had a relationship with the company for a number of years, as president and chief executive officer. He replaces Stratton Sclavos, who has resigned.

Roper, who has served as a director of VeriSign since November 2003, most recently served as executive vice president of Science Applications International Corp., a technology services company. He also was SAIC’s CFO from 1990 to 2000.

In November 2006, VeriSign said it would restate its financial statements for the five years ending in 2005 and for the first quarter of 2006 as a result of an internal inquiry into previous stock-option grants.

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The Internet software company reported it would take as much as a $250 million noncash, stock-based compensation expense because of incorrect measurement dates and other administrative inconsistencies.

The company also previously disclosed that the review of its historical stock option grant practices is substantially completed and did not find intentional wrongdoing by any current member of senior management, including Sclavos.

VeriSign also postponed its 2007 Analyst Day, previously scheduled for June 6.

Roper, the new president and CEO, is credited with playing a leadership role in Network Solutions, an Internet domain name registry provider, from the time of its acquisition by SAIC in 1995 until its merger into VeriSign in 2000. From 1987 to 1990, Roper was CFO and executive vice president of Intelogic Trace Inc., a computer-support organization.