Saturday, June 30, 2007

Abraham, where are thou?

Abraham Sofaer was named to the board of directors at Rambus Inc. in May, 2005:

"Abe brings an extremely impressive background and a wealth of knowledge to our board," said Geoff Tate, chairman of the Rambus board of directors. "His multiple past roles in the U.S. legal system and government and his current role on the boards of two companies with strong IP positions provide us highly useful perspectives and a wealth of experience. We very much look forward to working with Abe as we move forward with our strategic business objectives." (Rambus press release.)
Since "Abe" has arrived it is unclear how the "extremely impressive background" and "wealth of knowledge and experience" has benefited the shareholders of Rambus Inc.

Abe was the man that Any Donkey (and others) believed was the credibility and genius that would provide Rambus with a successful conclusion of its litigation, signing of license agreements and cleansing of the slime tossed by Judge Payne. I expected too much.

Two years later, Rambus Inc. remains deeply mired in litigation on increasing fronts which move at glacial speed.

Rambus Inc. is frozen in a option backdating investigation financial restatement funk.

Subsequent to the arrival of Abe, the general disrespect Rambus Inc. apparently harbored for its shareholders without parking spaces became public when CEO Harold Hughes told shareholder John Dowd to buy Coke if he didn't like how Rambus Inc. planned on passing out options to motivate its employees. Ramboids were still fuming when Rambus disclosed that it had passed out options improperly at an estimated "non-cash" cost to shareholders of approximately $200 million.

Months later the estimate remains an estimate as shareholders have ridden the roller coaster known as "Potential De-list". Deadlines pass without a word from Rambus. Shareholders are left in the dark about the process until the process is long down the road. Disrespect.

Now Abe's name surfaces in an article by Justin Scheck about Marvell Technology Group Ltd. option backdating problems. (It appears that Marvell has similar problems to Rambus, maybe worse.) Abe, reportedly was hired to investigate the investigation. Abe's not talking.

Abe, please solve the problems at home before taking your talents down the street.

HT Justin Scheck

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