updated 03:05 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2008
Jobs summoned in lawsuit
CEO Steve Jobs is among a number of Apple officials that have been ordered to appear in court regarding a new lawsuit, reports say. The summons were issued by the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara, and are connected to a suit from the Boston Retirement Board, alleging that over $105 million was lost on backdated stock options granted to Jobs. Backdating involves picking a favorable stock value from a time before options are actually granted; though this is technically legal, it can harm other shareholders and the rest of a company, and must be declared with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple leadership is accused of failing its duty in this regard.
The BRB says it has discovered specific evidence of wrongdoing gleaned from records, but claims it is unable to provide this information until the court rules on how it should be handled, given confidential facts. It may be added later to a sealed or amended version of the complaint. For now, the Board will only say it confirms "that all of Apple's directors were aware of and participated in the backdating scheme." Past lawsuits over the backdating scandal have typically been dismissed due to lack of proof.
Recipients of improperly backdated stocks should be forced to surrender illegal profits, the BRB says, and the directors who granted them should be held individually liable. Other people summoned in the suit include William Campbell, Millard Drexler, Arthur Levinson, Jerome York, Gareth Chang, Edgar Wollard, Fred Anderson and Nancy Heinen.