Steve jobs back dating stock options difference between chronometric dating relative dating
Please name for me one company that has ever, in the history of corporate law, backdated stock options and yet properly disclosed and accounted for them.Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has been subpoenaed by the U. Securities and Exchange Commission to give a deposition in a backdating lawsuit against the company's former general counsel, Bloomberg is reporting.Sure the accounting rules are arcane and most people don’t know them.But if someone asks you to write down a date from a month ago on a legal document, rather than today’s date, doesn’t it give you pause?Last October I interviewed Scott Mc Nealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems (SUNW), for a different story, and I brought up the subject of options backdating.I thought his comment was telling: “When I sign a document and it has a date thing there? I didn’t even go to law school, and I figured out that that’s probably the most appropriate thing.” By the way, even in the unlikely event that someone backdates options and accounts for them properly–i.e., treats them as in-the-money options–he would still almost always be violating the terms of the stock option plan which has been approved by shareholders.
He claimed that Jobs came to him in late January of 2001 and informed him that he had received the Board's approval for the massive grant, when in fact no approval had been granted.If someone presents you with a spreadsheet of the last month’s stock prices and asks you to pick the date on which you want to pretend that you granted, or were granted, several million options, might that not at least spur further inquiry?When then-general counsel Nancy Heinen emailed Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs such a spreadsheet on January 30, 2001, she noted that it was a bad idea to choose January 2 as the grant date–even though that was the day the stock had been at its lowest–if they wanted “to avoid any perception that the Board was acting in appropriately [sic] for insiders prior to Macworld announcements.” (They ultimately chose one of the next-best dates from after Macworld.) Now isn’t it obvious to everyone on that email that shareholders are being misled?"Apple's cooperation consisted of, among other things, prompt self-reporting, an independent internal investigation, the sharing of the results of that investigation with the government, and the implementation of new controls designed to prevent the recurrence of fraudulent conduct," the release said.Following that release, it was believed that the SEC's only remaining beef was with Heinen.