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Apple falsifies Jobs' options docs

updated 09:05 am EST, Thu December 28, 2006

Apple falsifies records

Apple's stock fell Thursday following a report that indicated Apple's Steve Jobs was given 7.5 million stock options in 2001 without the required authorization from the company's board of directors. Apple stock fell $1.64 or about 2 percent in pre-market trading. The Financial Times reports that records that purported to show a full board meeting had taken place to approve the stock options remuneration, as required by Apple's procedures, were later falsified. The records are now among the pieces of evidence being reviewed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as it decides whether to pursue a case against the company or any individuals over the affair, the report claims. Apple is expected to reveal news of the irregularities in a regulatory filing before the end of this week and only days after Jobs hired a lawyer--both of which are likely add to questions about Apple's disclosures about its internal investigation into the backdating issue.

In October, the company largely exonerated Jobs over the matter, saying that while he had been "aware" of the backdating "in a few instances", he "did not receive or otherwise benefit from these grants and was unaware of the accounting implications".

Analysts believe that Apple's CEO Steve Jobs will not be implicated and that the move was a normal course of action for the executive, given his immense personal fortune and influence in the industry.

Jobs' stock options under review were handed were given in October 2001 at an exercise price of $18.30 a share, but the alleged board authorization was dated near the end of the year, indicating that the benefits were both not properly authorized and that the options were backdated to maximize the value of the options.

Jobs, however, later surrendered his options before they were exercised, thus he did not "gain any direct. The Apple CEO was later given a grant of restricted stock by the company instead. The value of the stock grant, however, may have been calculated on the backdated options.

The report says that Apple's lawyers have briefed people involved in the case on the findings of the company's internal review of the matter, though it remains unclear how much detail will be included in the filing. Under Apple's rules, the chief executive's remuneration must be set by a compensation committee of independent directors and later authorized by the full board.

An Apple spokesman reportedly refused to comment on the matter, but said the company had handed the findings of its internal enquiry to the SEC. In October, Apple said that it had found "no misconduct by any member of Apple's current management team" but that its investigation "raised serious concerns regarding the actions of two former officers". At the same time, it also announced the resignation from its board of former CFO Fred Andersen--although he had not been a director at the time of the 2001 options grant.

by MacNN Staff




  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why are you bringing up old stories??? The past two days, investors have been dumber than dumb in their reaction to BS FUD. Grow up you idiotsl haven't you lost enough money selling on BS!

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The shorts...

    ...have made a few year end dollars, too... Everything simply 'depends'...

  1. Bermy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Apple's stock fell Thursday"

    At the time I read that the market was still 5 minutes from even do you know they fell Thursday? Attempting a little manipulation of your own?

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Pre Market opens at 8:00am EST - and the information in these stories are new, not old.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apparently some people are oblivious about what's happening and talk out of the wrong end.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I guess proofreading...

    ... is a lost artform with MacNN editors... as usual.

  1. gudin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    nothing wrong with story

    This was from a Financial Times report over the past 24 hrs. Not "old news" and the story there was trading after hours, pre-market, etc. since the Financial Times report.

    Why do so many people leap on everything that MacNN says and claim that they are terrible? There is nothing wrong with this story.

    The complainers should check their own facts and read the story before jumping the gun and launching into their complaints. Their own failure to do so is ironic considering they constantly complain about MacNN doing the same thing. . . .

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More lackluster reporting

    Actually, the news is not news at all. It is unsubstantiated rumors. You see the stories, that are indeed old, do not name sources, nor is Apple, the lawyers, or the government verifying them. That is the same thing sites like Thinksecret do. The news is old because the reports came out Tuesday night, not Thursday morning. The market reacted to this stuff yesterday.

    This story is disingenuous because who knows why investors do what they do? Apple's stock has been trading down for about two weeks now. During the holidays, the stock market always acts stranger then normal because less people are trading.

    Finally, the Tuesday rumors, if true, do not contradict anything Apple has already said. First, Apple already said 1) Jobs did nothing wrong, and 2) other executives did. The documents the SEC has, most likely voluntarily came from Apple. Jobs long ago publicly stated he does not participate in deciding salary. Jobs is 1) uneducated, and 2) not an accountant. So if Apple's highly paid accountant came up to him and said here is a gazillion stock options for you, Jobs would rightfully (and lawfully) assume they were legit.

    Some other points, Al Gore is not going to hang around Apple if it is a sinking ship. The guy is to smart, and has a very clean reputation. Al is friends with Jobs. Finally, Jobs is being sued by investors, and the government will b asking him personally questions. It is not uncommon for him to have a private lawyer in either situation. Smart people have private lawyers when they are being sued. You see the company lawyer's duty is to protect the company, not Jobs.

    It is also worth noting, the company will be paying Jobs legal fees.

    The only thing Apple fans should worry about is if all this pisses Steve off, and he quits.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another point


    Look at Macsurfer, and you will see all this information came out Tuesday night. As usually, it came from one publication, and a million other publications copied the story with no original research. No where does anybody ask Apple for a comment, Jobs for comment, or the government for comment.

    Also, after the news came out Tuesday night, Apple's stock took a five point hit in the early part of the day. It, however, closed up, and went up even further in After market trading.

    Brokers love news like this, idiots sell and they make their commission. These people are not investors, but gamblers.

  1. gudin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: another point


    Published December 28 at 00:21, updated later.

    Incidentally, I found the link on Macsurfer. It was the first one.

    Also, I heard about this article while driving to work listening to NPR's business news.

    No, this is not an old story. This is new details about an old story. Perfectly logical to post it, and in early trading and after hours trading the markets have reacted to this.

    Admit it, MacNN was perfectly justified in printing it.

    As to whether it means anything in the long run, who knows. I doubt it will have much long term effect, but it is an interesting twist nonetheless.

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