I was misled, says Spectrum chief: Former Apple Computer boss Sculley leaves company after only four months at helm

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The Independent Online
JOHN SCULLEY, the former Apple Computer chief executive who surprised Wall Street last October by joining the tiny Spectrum Information Technologies, resigned yesterday, claiming that he had been misled by the president of the start-up telecommunications firm.

Mr Sculley also filed a lawsuit against the company's president, Peter Caserta, 'relating to the circumstances under which I was induced to join Spectrum'.

As part of his compensation package Mr Sculley was awarded Spectrum share options potentially worth tens of millions of dollars, all of which he surrendered yesterday with his resignation.

Spectrum, which holds several valuable laptop communications patents, admitted two weeks ago that it was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly exaggerating the value of a licensing agreement with AT&T last summer.

Last month newspaper reports also revealed that Mr Caserta and other Spectrum insiders sold large amounts of shares just after hiring Mr Sculley last autumn, profiting from the resulting surge in the company's share price.

Spectrum has also been criticised by its former auditors, Arthur Andersen, for the aggressive manner in which it recognised the value of other licensing fees. It fired the firm last year but yesterday was obliged to restate its earnings of a year ago, declaring a loss of dollars 5m for the first half of 1993 instead of a dollars 1m profit.

Mr Sculley - who less than a week ago was said to be negotiating a large acquisition for Spectrum - said he learnt of the investigation only on 25 January, from a newspaper report. He said his experience with Mr Caserta had been 'tremendously disappointing'.

'If I had been properly informed of the SEC inquiries and the aggressive revenue recognition accounting for licence fees I would not have joined the company,' he said.