Shareholders in storage management software giant Veritas Software may shortly be rethinking their investment strategies.
In October 2002, it emerged that the company’s chief financial officer, Kenneth Lonchar, had lied about his educational credentials on his CV. This included falsely declaring that he had received an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from Stanford University.
When Veritas obtained this information, it reviewed Lonchar’s position with the company’s board of directors, and Lonchar resigned immediately. In the interim, Jay Jones, chief administrative officer at Veritas, will replace him. “I regret this misstatement of my educational background,” apologised Lonchar in a press statement. “Under the circumstances, resignation is in the best interests of both the company and myself.”
Keen to dispel any notions that Lonchar’s non-existent business school qualification will have an adverse effect on the company’s financial reporting practices, Veritas CEO Gary Bloom addressed investors’ concerns: “While Ken’s misstatement about his academic credentials is unfortunate, it has no bearing on the accuracy of our financial results or the quality of our financial procedures and controls.”
The company says it will name a new CFO by the end of the year. Lonchar is not the first senior executive of a major technology company to misstate his qualifications. In 1999, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Jeff Papows – then CEO of IBM software division Lotus Development – had also lied on his CV, embellishing his military service record and even his martial arts expertise to further his career.