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VeriSign boss signs off

Shock departure

Stratton Sclavos, boss of VeriSign for the last 12 years, has unexpectedly quit the security and domain registrar firm with no explanation.

The board announced yesterday he had been replaced with immediate effect by William Roper, an non-executive director who was an EVP at defence contractor firm Science Applications International Corporation.

Verisign, which is responsible for managing the top level .com and .net domains, has pursued a very broad strategy, including opening a family-friendly movie download store, and buying a mobile content venture.

It has also suffered a chequered financial history, most recently having been forced to restate numbers back to 2001 as part of the SEC stock options investigation. It also expects to cough $250m in charges as a result of its practices.

The announcement said that a "substantially completed" review of the stock options irregularities had cleared Sclavos of any wrongdoing, and wished him well for the future. Other Silicon Valley CEOs, including Apple's Steve Jobs, have been investigated for their part in stock options chicanery, and remain in charge.

VeriSign's shares were up slightly at end of trading yesterday. ®

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