'Kobi Didn't Take the Money,' Says Sister

Galya Yemini
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Galya Yemini

"Let someone show me three people who have contributed to the State of Israel like my brother has, three people as honest as he is. He worked so hard for 25 years; that company was his top priority. I don't know anyone who has worked so hard. He did everything for the company; he founded it and was loyal to it, loyal to the workers. During the lean years, he didn't take bonuses."

Shaula Alexander, Kobi Alexander's elder and only sister, spoke recently to her friends in Israel from the family's home in Namibia.

Shaula, 57, holds a Ph.D. in computer science and is a technology millionaire in her own right: About 18 months ago, she sold Smarts, the computer company she founded, to software giant EMC for $260 million, and is now vice-president of EMC.

The fact that she works for a publicly traded company complicates her relationship with the press. She refuses to be interviewed, but let her hair down a little with friends from home.

"All those years, [Kobi] sat on unexercised options. He paid himself a minimal salary, without bonuses; you can see it in the [company] reports. The employees were so important to him.

"No other CEO had so many unexercised options. He didn't do it. He didn't take the money. There's no justification or basis for what's happening now, people forget his honesty and his hard work," Shaula Alexander said.

She finds it hard to explain to her friends how her brother became entangled in scandal:

"That's life; sometimes crazy things happen. Sometimes a man crosses the street, adhering to all the accepted traffic guidelines, and has an accident anyway.

"It happens. I can't express an opinion. A lot of people have already said what they think about the justice of the matter, but I can't talk about it publicly because I am an employee of a public U.S. company.

"No one deserves more than he does for me to stand by him. I'm visiting him now, I'll return home to the U.S. soon, and if necessary I'll visit again. When he needs me, I come," Shaula Alexander commented.

"I try to be available to him. My parents [Zvi and Rachel Alexander] are in Israel, and I'm sure they'll come too at some point.

"I hope this terrible dream will pass, so we can look back and say it was hard but we endured and it's behind us,"explained Shaula Alexander.

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