Hoping to assure stockholders it will not fall victim to the corporate fraud
epidemic, Liberate Technologies has made some executive shifts and stiffened up
its corporate governance policies.
In addition to two executive departures, Liberate will separate the role of
chairman and CEO and create a committee to nominate new board directors and
oversee compliance with corporate governance regulations.
The new corporate governance committee will 'put us in the highest standards
of governance, and really in a leadership position, particularly in technology,'
according to chairman and CEO Mitchell Kertzman.
That affects Kertzman himself. A common governance standard separates the
role of chairman and CEO, so Kertzman will relinquish his CEO duties and become
executive chairman by the end of 2002. Liberate President Coleman Sisson will
take over as CEO.
'We certainly I think, in today's environment we think it is clearly
important to show all stakeholders - particularly shareholders but also
customers too - that we are committed to these standards of governance to high
levels of visibility and transparency,' Kertzman said.
Liberate also will be seeking at least one more independent director to keep
a majority of independent directors on the board.
At present, the six-member board includes Kertzman, Sisson and four directors
from outside the company.
That includes Cox Communications Inc.'s chief technology officer, Chris
Bowick, but by Securities and Exchange standards he is technically not
considered independent because Cox is a Liberate customer.
Kertzman said Liberate is talking to several candidates, but there is no set
time line for that appointment.
At the chief financial officer post, Kent Walker will be replacing Nancy
Hilker, who is leaving to become the new chief financial officer at Danger Inc.,
a wireless technology outfit. Walker will retain his duties as general
Chief Strategy Officer David Limp has also taken a personal leave and is no
longer a full-time Liberate employee.
His duties will be absorbed within the executive corps, but Limp may continue
to serve on a consulting basis.