Rosetta Stone Says “Bienvenue” to New CFO…

October 14, 2010

Foreign languages offer so many great daydreams… the fantasy of ordering lunch in fluent French at a small bistro in Dijon, perhaps, or imagining yourself sharing a laugh with the clerk who just sold you a ticket at the train station in Stuttgart. We don’t know if Stephen Swad thinks like we do or not, but perhaps daydreams like ours are one of the reasons that he just agreed to become the new CFO for Rosetta Stone, Inc. (RST).

Of course, the money’s not too shabby, either. In the 8-K and related Employment Agreement that Rosetta Stone filed October 13, the company disclosed that after Swad starts his new job on November 9, he’ll get a base salary of $400,000. For his first year, Rosetta Stone agreed to pay Swad a one-time bonus of $240,000 on or before March 15, 2011 in lieu of a non-equity incentive plan bonus. In future years, though, he’ll be eligible to participate in the non-equity incentive plan at a target of “not less than” 60% of his base compensation, which would score him at least another $240,000 if he meets his performance goals.

Swad is also getting 150,000 stock options (which vest over four years) and 100,000 shares of restricted stock (which vest over three years). While there’s no way to predict how the stock will fare over the next few years, it’s currently trading at just under $21.00 a share. Thus, the RSUs alone could – if the trading price holds – be worth a couple million dollars.

Swad comes to Rosetta Stone with a lot of professional experience. From May, 2009 until October 12, 2010, he served as an executive vice president and CFO at Comverse Technologies, Inc. (PINK: CMVT), the subject of this recent post. But prior to that, he worked for some high-profile companies such as Fannie Mae (FNMA), where he served as the EVP/CFO from May, 2007 – August, 2008. He also worked at AOL LLC from February 2003 to February 2007. And before that, he worked at Time Warner (TWX), and KPMG LLP, although his dates of service in those jobs aren’t stated in the filing. The 8-K also notes that Swad previously served as a deputy chief accountant for the SEC.

The CFOs we know put in a lot of hours, so it was nice to see that Rosetta Stone is giving Swad up to 22 paid vacation days per year. Perhaps he’ll know a new language or two by the time he’s actually able to take a little time off.

Image source: Rosetta Stone

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