Take-Two Chairman Earnings Top $4.6 Million

Video-game publisher issued its third restatement just last month.

The chairman of video-game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., which is facing possible civil charges for its accounting practices, earned more than $4.6 million in 2003.

In 2003 Ryan Brant received a salary of $752,884 and a bonus of more than $2.9 million, and he netted more than $1 million from exercising options and then selling the underlying shares.

Last year he received a salary of $641,058 and a bonus of $1.99 million. He was also granted options on 300,000 shares of stock in Take-Two, which is best-known for its blockbuster games in the “Grand Theft Auto” series.

In December the company, Brant, an employee, and two former officers of the company received Wells notices informing them that SEC staffers were recommending lawsuits against them. And last month the company issued its third restatement of results.

At that time, Banc of America analyst Gary Cooper called for Brant’s ouster, stating that the chairman was “the one constant through Take-Two’s years of accounting irregularities, SEC investigations, and dubious operating decisions,” according to Reuters.

The company also said in its amended annual report that chief financial officer Karl Winters earned $591,000 in salary and bonus and an additional $469,981 from exercising options.

Chief executive officer Jeff Lapin, who joined Take-Two in January 2003, earned $542,500 in salary and a bonus of $200,000. Kelly Sumner, who resigned as CEO in January 2003 and now serves in a non-executive capacity, netted nearly $10 million from exercising options. And Paul Eibeler, who resigned as president in June 2003, took home about $5.88 million from exercising options.

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