Monster’s Revolving CEO Door

Monster Worldwide president and chief executive officer William Pastore is out.

This follows the news back in October 2006 that Andrew McKelvey was resigning as Monster Worldwide’s chairman, chief executive officer, and board member after declining to be interviewed by a board committee reviewing stock-option grants.

The company has now appointed Sal Iannuzzi as its new chairman and chief executive officer, effective immediately.

However, Monster Worldwide has said it will continue to employ Pastore through June 2007 “to facilitate an orderly transition.”

While the company said Pastore’s exit was by a mutual agreement, this brisk departure follows last week’s lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings announcement. Following the news, the company’s stock fell to a five-month low.

“In my new position, I will focus on the next stage in our development by executing on strategic initiatives to drive growth across all our business lines,” said Iannuzzi, in a statement.

Iannuzzi has been a member of the board of Monster Worldwide since July 2006 and has served as chairman of the Executive Committee since October 2006.

Ianuzzi also praised Pastore for leading the company “during a difficult transitional period.”

Under Pastore’s direction, Ianuzzi noted, Monster Worldwide completed the financial restatement related to historical stock option issues and returned to compliance with SEC and NASDAQ listing requirements.

In December 2006, Monster said it overstated its profit from 1997 to 2005 by a total of $271.9 million.

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Monster is one of hundreds of companies conducting internal investigations or subject to a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation concerning potential backdating of stock options. The “backdating” of employee stock options, which may boost profits and lower taxes, refers to options that are issued retroactively to coincide with low points in a company’s share price.

Since then, Monster has suffered a securities class action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased common stock between May 6, 2005 and June 9, 2006.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, charging that federal securities laws were violated by issuing misleading statements to the public.

Nevertheless, Monster continues its expansion by partnering with other job sites and into local media markets. (In fact, Jim “Mad Money” Cramer speculated on his blog Thursday that perhaps Monster is looking to be bought by a traditional print corporation.)

The New York Times Company is one of its latest co-branding partnerships. The $3 billion news company owns the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, nine network-affiliated television stations, two New York City radio stations, and 35 websites.

Other print companies that have joined forces with Monster include Philadelphia Media Holdings, Freedom Communications, Inc., North Jersey Media Group, and the Akron Beacon-Journal, among others, though none has expressed any acquisition plans publicly.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


1 Comment on “Monster’s Revolving CEO Door

  1. If you do a little bit of preliminary research on Sal Iannuzzi, you’ll see that his latest endeavor was CEO of Symbol Technologies . . . in which Symbol was later acquired by Motorola in 11/2006. Iannuzzi walked with a cool $4 MIL USD at the end of the day.

    Further analysis shows that he’s a Finance quant as well . . . leading one to believe that his role is to set up Monster for acquisition.

    Cramer is highly-reputable and there is a tremendous amount of analysis and research backing his theory. I think he’s definitely onto something.

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