Moving around?

June 12, 2006

When McData (MCDTA) announced last January that it had hired Wayne Morris to be its new senior vice president for worldwide marketing, it said that Morris would "be a tremendous value to McData as we grow our business."

Well, it didn’t exactly turn out that way. On March 13, McData filed an 8-K announcing that Morris had left the company on March 10, not even mentioning the oft-used "personal reasons" line. The 8-K noted that Morris would receive nine months of severance. But that’s not the whole story. In the proxy filed late Friday, the company disclosed that it had spent $220K to cover Morris’ relocation expenses. Granted, he appears to have moved from Australia to take the job at McData, which is based in Colorado. But that’s still a lot of money to spend on someone who lasted at the company for about a year.

Indeed, McData seems to have a bit of a history of being pretty generous when it comes to reimbursing moving expenses. In 2004, the company spent $122K to cover senior vp Gary Gysin’s move. And in 2003, it spent $120K on executive Jeff Vogel’s move, even though he had been at the company since 1998. A quick skim of McData’s filings reveals that Vogel no longer appears to work at the company.  Even odder is that all three men — Morris, Gysin and  Vogel — all had the title of senior vice president of worldwide marketing, so perhaps the big moving allowance is some sort of perk that comes with the job.

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