Cases & Deals

Former McAfee President accused of options backdating is vindicated

Clients Weiss, Kevin M.

Jones Day obtained public vindication and substantial damages for former McAfee President Kevin M. Weiss more than five-and-a-half years after he was improperly terminated for cause by McAfee, Inc. and made the scapegoat for the company's options backdating problems.

A Dallas state district court recently unsealed court records from the arbitration that Weiss filed against McAfee after he was terminated in 2006. In a lengthy written award issued after a two-week arbitration, the arbitrator concluded that Weiss "had no role in setting option grant dates and never back-dated an option grant," that he did not commit any of the "for cause" acts alleged by McAfee as the basis for his termination, and that McAfee failed to demonstrate that its board made a "good faith" determination to terminate Weiss for cause. The arbitrator awarded Weiss more than $7.5 million in damages and nearly $1 million in prejudgment interest. Although Weiss received the written award that cleared him of wrongdoing several years ago, it was kept under seal for nearly three years after it was issued because McAfee persuaded the trial court to issue a temporary sealing order and then filed a series of appeals in Texas state courts that kept the award from public view. Attorneys from Jones Day represented Weiss in both the original arbitration and on appeal from the sealing order.

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