Stec CEO resigns on insider trading charges

SANTA ANA, Calif ., Tue Sep 18, 2012 – Solid-state drive maker Stec Inc. said its founder and chief executive of 22 years, Manouch Moshayedi, resigned due to a civil complaint filed against him by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in July.

Mark Moshayedi, the outgoing CEO’s brother and the company’s COO, will take over as interim CEO, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The U.S. regulator said in July that it had filed a civil complaint against Stec’s 53-year-old CEO for insider trading after he sold a significant portion of his holdings and shares owned by his brother.

The company had disclosed in 2009 that the SEC was conducting a formal investigation involving trading in the company’s securities.

Manouch Moshayedi will continue to be on the company’s board, Stec said.

Manouch and Mark Moshayedi founded Stec in 1990 and owned about 17 percent of the company’s outstanding common stock as of Dec. 31, 2011, according to the company’s annual report.

The Santa Ana, California-based company’s auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP resigned on Sept.12. Analysts said the breakup could be a fallout of the insider trading charges.

Stec, once a leader in the flash drive storage industry, has seen its sales plunge over the last couple of years as larger players in the hard drive market such as Western Digital Corp. and Seagate Plc have eaten into its share.