Green Mountain Coffee Human Resources

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) claims to have gone to great lengths to remediate its internal control and compliance problems since the Securities and Exchange Commission started an inquiry of the company in September 2010 and since it restated its financial reports due to material accounting errors. However, certain contradictory disclosures by the company call into question the sincerity of its remedial efforts.

WATERBURY, Vt.-(BUSINESS WIRE)- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, announced today the appointment of Linda Kazanova as Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer . [Emphasis added.]

On November 14, 2011 Green Mountain Coffee filed its fiscal year ended September 24, 2011 10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On page F-43, the company reiterated that Linda Kazanova started her employment as the Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer on February 17, 2011. In addition, it disclosed that she was awarded certain non-qualified stock options on the same day:

Pursuant to the terms of the employment, the Company made an inducement grant on February 17, 2011, to Ms. Longo-Kazanova of a non-qualified option to purchase 30, 000 shares of the Company’s common stock, with an exercise price equal to fair market value on the date of the grant. The shares subject to the option will vest in 25% installments on each of the first four anniversaries of the date of the grant, provided that Ms. Longo-Kazanova remains employed with the Company on each vesting date. [Emphasis added.]

In the same 10-K report on pages 24-25, the company contradicted both its February 2011 press release and disclosures in the same 10-K report on page F-43. It claimed that Linda Longo-Kazanova joined the company in February 2011, but did not serve as Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer until March 2011:

Linda Longo-Kazanova joined the Company in February 2011 and has served as Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer since March 2011. [Emphasis added.]

However, as of April 9, 2012, Linda Kazanova’s Linkedin profile says that she started her employment as “Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.” in February 2011:

(click to enlarge)

Why did Green Mountain Coffee attempt to move the date that Linda Longo-Kazanova started working as the Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer from February 17, 2011 to March 2011? Was this part of a bungled effort to cover up a delinquent filing of a Form 3 report? Evidence suggests the company would rather deceive shareholders than admit to a late insider filing.

On March 15, 2011, Linda Longo-Kazanova filed a Form 3 Initial Statement of Beneficial Ownership of Securities with the S.E.C which disclosed her stock option grant on February 17, 2011. The exercise price of $40.71 per share matches the closing price on February 17, 2011.

This Form must be filed within 10 days after the event by which the person becomes a reporting person (i.e., officer, director, ten percent holder or other person). This Form and any amendment is deemed filed with the Commission or the Exchange on the date it is received by the Commission or the Exchange, respectively. [Emphasis added.]

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