Apple option backdating scandal
THIS SCORECARD WAS LAST UPDATED IN SEPTEMBER 2007 AND IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED. Note: This list contains companies that have disclosed government probes, misdated options, restatements and/or executive departures as of Septmeber 2007.
The Santa Monica, Calif., videogame company said on July 28 that the SEC has asked the company for documents related to its stock-option grants as part of an informal inquiry.
If you want to see a movie that Apple executives like, don’t go see “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” the documentary that opens today.
“An inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend,” Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue tweeted back in March when the movie screened at South By Southwest.
Gibney certainly takes an unusual approach: Rather than a straightforward life story, the movie focuses on a handful of moments in Jobs’s life that many biographies don’t linger on, like Apple’s stock options backdating scandal. https://youtu.be/lzyq1t-Sjc M I sat in on a group Q&A session with Gibney at SXSW in March. But also at the same time, I’m appalled, really, by his cruelty, and his inability to get outside himself, and to see himself and his company in a broader perspective. But not because they were telling incidents about Apple the business.
That allows Gibney to play rare — and fascinating — footage of Jobs parrying with Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers during a 2008 deposition. Here’s an excerpt of that conversation: Your film doesn’t have any on-camera interviews with current Apple employees, or anyone who didn’t end up distanced from Jobs in some significant way. In that SEC deposition, where he’s talking about how, when he wasn’t given a bigger stock option package by the board, he felt hurt — that just struck me like, you’re a very very powerful guy, and the board didn’t do what you wanted to do by themselves, and you’re hurt? That seemed like a person who couldn’t get outside himself. Is that because you thought they were telling, or because you could talk to people who would talk about it, or both? This film really looks very carefully at his values.
Basically, a stock option is a contract right to purchase an amount of stock at a set price for a period of time.
While the focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") centers on improper accounting practices and disclosures, thereby violating securities laws, a major yet little explored consequence to the scandal involves potentially onerous taxes on those who received these options.
On June 7, 2007, the company said the SEC issued a formal probe order related to its stock-options grants.