Henry Samueli, a major shareholder and former chairman of Irvine’s Broadcom Corp., has rejoined its board of directors and will sit on the compensation committee, the company said Friday.

The symbolic move comes after Samueli took a three-year absence from the board to publicly distance himself from the company during a lengthy legal battle over backdated stock options.

Samueli served as chairman and chief technical officer until 2008 when he stepped down amid a federal probe that resulted in the Securities and Exchange Commission suing him and other executives in what regulators called a "massive fraud scheme" to backdate stock options.

In late 2009 U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney threw out a Samueli plea deal on a criminal charge of lying to investigators, citing prosecutor misconduct and a lack of evidence. The SEC civil case against him was also dropped.

The resumption of a Broadcom board seat brings Samueli full circle after his legal vindication.

In late 2009, he resumed an executive post at Broadcom after his plea deal was thrown out.

Samueli is considered an engineering icon at Broadcom, which makes communications chips for cell phones, computers and consumer electronics.

Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, also was named to Broadcom’s board of directors and will serve on the audit committee, the company said.

Prior to joining Harvey Mudd, she was dean of engineering and a computer science professor at Princeton University.

Broadcom President and Chief Executive Scott McGregor said the additions will serve the company well in the coming years.

“Henry has been instrumental in developing and implementing Broadcom's innovation and technology strategy which has catapulted the company to its leadership position in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications,” McGregor said. "Dr. Klawe is also an important addition to our board given the critical importance to our business of scientific and engineering innovation.”

Prior to the hiatus, Samueli had served on Broadcom's board since 1991, when he established the company with Henry Nicholas.