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WebMD exec resigns amid accounting probe

The president and chief operating officer of the online health care start-up resigns amid questions over an accounting audit by his former employer.

WebMD's president and chief operating officer has resigned from the online health care start-up, amid questions over an accounting audit by his former employer.

Jay Gilbertson is stepping down from WebMD and faces questions about his role in an accounting controversy at McKesson HBOC, his former employer, the Wall Street Journal reported. Gilbertson, who joined WebMD in November, was former chief financial officer at HBO & Company, which merged with McKesson.

The Journal report stated that over the past two months, McKesson's auditors have found accounting problems at HBO, some occurring during Gilbertson's tenure. Those findings resulted in an earnings restatement and a huge dip in McKesson's stock price, the newspaper reported.

WebMD last month announced long-anticipated plans to merge with another health-related Web site, Healtheon. Under the deal, the shareholders of each company will get an equal stake in the new company, which will be called Healtheon WebMD and trade under the symbol "HLTH." Gilbertson had not been named to any post under the merger.

The company also received cash infusions last month from Microsoft, which invested $250 million, along with Intel, Excite, and software wholesaler Softbank, which invested another $110 million.

The firms could not be reached for comment this morning.