At CNET, We Know Where the Buck Stops

Uncategorized Posted Oct 11, 2006 by metropolis

It’s always sad to watch a news organization you respect having to report on some ethical breach within its own organization.

An hour ago, The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) issued this alert:

CNET said Chairman and CEO Shelby Bonnie has resigned after a probe found “deficiencies” in the company’s options grants. CNET’s general counsel and head of human resources also resigned. “I apologize for the option-related problems that happened under my leadership,” said Mr. Bonnie, who co-founded the online media company in 1993.

You can read the press release here. I find it rather shocking that an hour later, CNET still hasn’t covered the story on its own site (although they’ve reported on the McAfee management changes, also prompted by stock option practices). One envisions reporters drawing straws to see who gets to write that one…

There’s a bitter lesson here for other companies. CNET announced the executive departures simultaneous with the finding of its Special Committee investigating the handling of stock options, leaving no doubt that the management team and board wanted to send a message about leadership and accountability. May others have the courage to follow this lead.