Independent investigation blames ex-CEO for "significant" mishandling of stock-option grants from 1997 to 2003; says current executive suite is clean.
Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched investigations of various high-profile game publishers, including THQ and Activision, for backdating stock options. As a result, many of those publishers hired external auditors to conduct independent investigations to head off any official sanctions from the federal government.
Now, just over a month after it first admitted financial "improprieties," one of the biggest publishers under investigation confirmed it backdated options in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Today, Take-Two Interactive conceded that it had "failed in many cases to comply with the terms of its stock option plans" by allowing its founder and former CEO Ryan Brant "to control and dominate the granting process."