Clark Another Sarbox Victim? Not Really

Lora Bentley

Effective January 1, Shutterfly chairman Jim Clark resigned his post, citing unreasonable Sarbanes-Oxley restrictions on the involvement of major shareholders in company management and a lack of interest in the online photo company's new manufacturing focus.

His resignation letter, which was included in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week, says the only thing for him left after accounting for all the Sarbox restrictions is liability, which, not surprisingly, he doesn't find exciting. He asks to be treated as an "outsider," effective immediately.

Media accounts of the resignation, including a Reuters piece, see it as more evidence that Sarbox has damaged the U.S. economy by discouraging companies from listing here. Moreover, it is discouraging talented execs from taking jobs at public companies, suggests Blogging Stocks.

But, as Jack Ciesielski points out at SeekingAlpha, most have ignored the first reason Clark cited for his leaving: the fact that he, as a technologist, has "little to offer" a manufacturing company.

This in itself is sufficient reason for Clark to resign, Ciesielski says. He sees the Sarbox rant as nothing more than Clark taking an opportunity to vent about the law, and he questions whether Clark's resignation can really be considered evidence of Sarbox's problems.

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