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Activision Clears CEO of Options Wrongdoing

Past employees don't get off so easy.

Following a seven-month internal investigation, video game publisher


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cleared its current management, including CEO Robert Kotick, of any intentional wrongdoing with respect to its stock option grant practices.

Instead, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company blamed four individuals, including the outgoing head of human resources, former heads of finance and legal, and a former outside legal adviser for "inaccuracies" with respect to the stock option grants but said that there was no "intentional wrongdoing."

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Shares of Activision were off 9 cents, or 0.5%, to $17.25.

Activision also said company Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, director Ronald Doornink and George Rose, the senior vice president, general counsel and secretary were not responsible for any issues with respect to the backdating.

But 10 current and former officers and directors are likely to relinquish any economic benefits from the misdating and mispricing of stock options.

Activision said moving forward it plans to have new outside legal advisers and enhance its corporate governance practices. It will establish a new position of principal compliance officer, the company said.

The exact amount of additional expense because of the options backdating has yet to be determined by the company.