In Veritas, vino

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In Veritas, vino

Contributed by Erik Sherman. ([email protected]). Contributed articles do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the ÆGIS e-journal.

Veritas, Latin for truth, is Harvard’s motto. So it is humorous that Kenneth Lonchar, the late CFO of Veritas Software, had chosen Harvard rival Stanford for his MBA. Even more amusing – at least to an outsider without any financial stake in the company – was that Lonchar’s choice was unrequited: Under pressure of discovery, he recently admitted lying about his degree, or even attending the school at all. He was discharged days after.

A pity that Wall Street wasn’t laughing. Stock in the publicly traded company, which makes data availability software, was down 18%, or $2.66 a share on the news. Putting this into perspective, after being one of the companies less financially troubled by the dot com bust, the stock price hit its lowest level since 1999. With about 410 million shares outstanding, this was a loss to investors of almost $1.1 billion. Those possessing even a passing acquaintance with corporate security and due diligence realize that the simplest background check, at a cost of, at worst, a few hundred dollars, would have made that information available, and saved all the problems.

Wonder where the company’s other managers went to school. Wonder where your managers went to school.

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