WorldCom's old board steps down

Most members of the board of bankrupt telecommunications service provider WorldCom Inc. have resigned following court approval of Michael Capellas as the new chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), the company announced Tuesday.

The board members have submitted their resignations to Capellas and he has accepted them, according to a company statement. Departing board members include Carl Aycock, Max Bobbitt, Franceso Galesi, Gordon Macklin, Bert Roberts Jr. and former president and CEO John Sidgmore. Judith Areen resigned from the board last week, according to the statement.

Only recently-appointed members now remain on the board. They include former U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, former Financial Accounting Standards Board chairman Dennis Beresford, and former Equifax Inc. chairman and CEO C.B. Rogers Jr.

The departing members said in the statement they wanted to give Capellas the opportunity to continue the process of reforming WorldCom. On Monday, a court approved the hiring of Capellas as chairman and CEO of WorldCom.

The Clinton, Mississippi-based carrier, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, is mired in a US$9 billion accounting scandal, the largest in U.S. history. The company faces fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, several shareholder lawsuits and Congressional investigations.

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