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Name and title: Peter Altabef, vice president, general counsel and secretary Age: 44 Energy investigation: H. Ross Perot, the founder and chairman of Perot Systems Corp., is used to giving orders, not sworn testimony. On July 11, 2002, though, the two-time presidential candidate found himself before a California Senate panel investigating the collapse of the state’s deregulated energy market. Perot adamantly denied allegations that his company, which had set up the computer system for California’s power grid operators, coached energy producers on how to exploit glitches in this system. According to General Counsel Peter Altabef, dual state and U.S. congressional investigations of Perot Systems failed to substantiate any corporate double-dealing. Rep. Steve Ose, R-Calif., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, concluded after his 2002 federal hearing that blaming Perot Systems for California’s energy crisis was “way off base.” Altabef credits this favorable outcome to the company’s cooperation with investigators and “transparency” in its internal probe of employee contacts with energy providers. However, complying with the information demands wasn’t cheap or easy. After a five-month file review, costing more than $8.5 million, Perot Systems turned over 70,000 pages of documents, filling 55 boxes, to Congress, the California Legislature and the California attorney general’s office. Except for confidential materials, the company posted the disclosed documents on its Web site, said Altabef. Government investigators have made no further inquiries to the company since 2002, said Altabef. Perot Systems has been named in state and federal shareholder suits related to the controversy. On Feb. 2, a California superior court in Sacramento dismissed the state suit. The company has moved to dismiss eight consolidated federal suits now pending in the Northern District of Texas. “We’ve really put this behind us,” said Altabef. Texas tech: Headquartered in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas, Perot Systems provides information technology consulting, infrastructure and outsourcing services to clients worldwide. The company was founded in 1988 by billionaire businessman H. Ross Perot, who remains chairman of the board. His son, H. Ross Perot Jr., a former U.S. Air Force pilot, became the president and CEO in August 2000. Perot p�re was a sometimes cantankerous campaigner in 1992 and 1996, but Altabef said that both Perots are perfectly pleasant proprietors, as well as “extraordinary” businessmen. The elder Perot “is the epitome of a straight shooter, and he demands very specific and straightforward information,” said Altabef. The 13,000-employee company, which went public in 1999, reported $1.5 billion in 2003 revenue. Altabef’s attorneys: Altabef oversees a 10-attorney law department, with four lawyers in Plano and the others in Pittsburgh; Herndon, Va.; London; and Noida, India. His staff also includes four paralegals, three nonlawyer contract negotiators and four administrative assistants. Altabef assigns in-house counsel primarily to customer-based divisions focusing on financial services, health care, government services, industrial services and strategic markets. Each lawyer also has a cross-cutting concentration, such as litigation management, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting and human resources. The company’s counsel are a “very senior group of people,” said Altabef. With the exception of a newly hired lawyer, the attorneys average eight years with the company, and 17 years in practice. Perot Systems needs this depth of experience to negotiate and draft the complex, multiyear information technology contracts that are its bread and butter, said Altabef. Recently, Altabef and his staff have helped to seal some major information technology deals, including a $570 million contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, and multiyear contracts with several big law firms. Litigation: Perot Systems farms out all lawsuits to outside firms. According to its recent SEC filings, the company is not involved in litigation likely to have a “material adverse effect” on its business. In the summer of 2001, Perot Systems, some of its current and former officers, and the investment banks that underwrote its February 1999 initial public offering (IPO), were named in two shareholder suits. The plaintiffs alleged that that the banks allocated IPO shares to customers in exchange for undisclosed commissions and required aftermarket purchases. The two class actions were part of a wave of similar suits involving companies that went public in 1998 through 2000, ultimately involving some 300 IPO issuers and 40 investment banks. These suits have been consolidated in New York federal court as the IPO Allocation Securities Litigation. Perot Systems has agreed to a settlement offer made to all issuing defendants, said Altabef. He did not disclose the terms of the proposed deal, which still awaits court approval. He said, however, that Perot Systems would not be required to make any cash payment in the settlement. Principal outside counsel: Perot Systems does not have a primary outside counsel, but uses a variety of law firms, including the New York and Washington offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Hughes & Luce of Dallas, the Washington and Brussels offices of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal of Dallas. Route to the top: Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Altabef grew up in Brooklyn and North Massapequa, N.Y. He graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1980 with a degree in economics, and received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1983. After a clerkship with 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham in Dallas, Altabef worked for a year at New York’s Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. In 1985, he signed on with Hughes & Luce, where he rose to become a partner in the firm’s corporate/securities section. Altabef was hired by Perot Systems in 1993, and became general counsel the following year. Personal: Altabef met his wife, Jennifer, when the two were clerking for different federal judges in Dallas. She is now a partner at Carrington Coleman and leads the firm’s labor and employment group. The couple live in Dallas with children Haley, 14, and Will, 9. Last book and movie: Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond, and Something’s Gotta Give.

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