What good can come out of an Options probe? Can a company where the Executives are focused on short term personal gain build products that have long term value?

Backdating Fine May Set Model
Brocade Is the First to Pay
Penalty in Options Probe;
SEC Debated Punishment
May 31, 2007; Page A3

WASHINGTON — Brocade Communications Systems Inc. agreed to pay a $7 million penalty to settle allegations it improperly issued stock-option grants, making it the first company to pay a fine in connection with the backdating scandal, according to people familiar with the matter.

It seems to me that the stakeholders in this settlement are being hurt in a few ways.
* The executives of companies in this scandal have squandered their ‘trust’ realtionship with their employees in this effort to pad their own wallets.
* Companies that lose their employees and customers trust end up hurting the stockholders, because it becomes harder to sell their ‘value’ to their customers when there is a taint of scandal. A harder sale is a less profitable sale, and it is hard to sell when your executives may be crooks.
* Employees may exhibit discomfort when working with customers who ask about the scandal and what the long term effect on their company & the executive staff might be. Are the executives going to be forced out? What is the transition plan?

As a consumer of technology products, I prefer to deal with companies and executives that take a long term view of their company’s and products’ value. Why should we trust that companies and executives that focus on short term personal gains will create products and support that provide long term value and return on investment? If corporate executives are looking at short term personal profits, will they be concerned with your long range plans? Options scandals have the taint of short term fast buck thinking, not long term value.

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