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Leadership shake-up at VeriSign

VeriSign — parent company of iDefense Labs — has a new chief executive, following the abrupt resignation of Chief Executive and Director Stratton D. Sclavos.

The new president and chief executive is William A. Roper Jr., who has been a director of VeriSign since November 2003. He was most recently executive VP of Science Applications International Corporation.

The company isn’t offering a specific reason for Sclavos’ exit, though the Dow Jones Market Watch site says the board of directors determined it had “reached a point in its evolution where it can benefit from new leadership.” However, the board did say in a statement that a “review of the company’s historical stock option grant practices by an ad hoc group of independent members of VeriSign’s board of directors … did not find intentional wrongdoing by any current member of senior management, including Sclavos.”

Sclavos said in the statement: “I want to thank the people of VeriSign for their support and contributions over the past 12 years. I am proud of my role in building VeriSign into the great company it has become, and wish all of my associates the very best in the coming years.”

The company has postponed its June 6 analyst meeting until a later date.

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Stratton is a superb visionary and gentleman who was an exceptional representative of security from its early days until today. We all hope he lands somewhere where he will continue to make a difference. But, if he chooses to follow his dreams, we all wish him well.