CNet to reprice stock options

From Bloomberg News

CNet Networks Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of online news and information, will pay $750,000 to Barry Briggs, who resigned as president and chief operating officer, and reprice stock options held by nine individuals including Briggs.

In other options-related developments Tuesday:

* Power Integrations Inc. said it planned to reprice options to market value to avoid tax penalties.

* Monster Worldwide Inc. said it would pay $5 million to employees whose vested options expired while the company's plan was suspended.

* McAfee Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based software maker, was sued by seven former employees who were unable to exercise their grants.

All four companies are among the 190 that have disclosed internal or federal probes of their stock option practices.

On Dec. 13, Monster Worldwide, the largest job-listings website, restated nine years of results after saying it failed to account for $271.9 million in option-related costs.

CNet's Briggs will receive the payment when he leaves Jan. 12, the company said Tuesday in a regulatory filing. CNet said Briggs, who resigned Dec. 11, also would remain eligible to receive a bonus for 2006.

Briggs, two other executives and five independent directors agreed to reprice some stock options, CNet said in the filing. The options were vested by 2005 and had exercise prices set below fair market value on the day they were granted. The directors also agreed to repay any after-tax gains from exercised options that vested with discounted prices.

Shares of CNet rose 17 cents to $9.35.

Power Integrations, a San Jose-based maker of semiconductors used in consumer electronics, increased the exercise price on stock options held by three executives to market value to avoid tax penalties.

John Tomlin, Clifford Walker and Bruce Renouard will pay $18.95 a share to exercise options, up from $17.75, Power Integrations said in a regulatory filing.

The new prices reflect the stock value at the time the company granted the options, which vested after Dec. 31, 2004, the company said. The grants range from 19,401 to 23,438 shares.

Power Integrations Chief Executive Balu Balakrishnan and Derek Bell, the company's head of engineering, previously agreed to have their options repriced, according to a Dec. 21 filling.

Shares of Power Integrations fell 25 cents to $22.95. They have declined 3.6% this year.

Monster Worldwide, based in New York, said it filed a quarterly report with regulators that made the company current after a delay caused by a review of option grants.

Shares of Monster rose 13 cents to $46.33.

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