Wishes still != ponies.
Boy, the Macalope gets accused of being an Apple apologist, but you people take the cake. The “We got Steve Jobs’ back!” excuse du jour seems to be “There’s nothing wrong with backdating as long as it’s properly accounted for and reported!” (See comments here.)
Well, before you take that excuse and get all Diggy wit’ it, a couple of things.
First, it is illegal if it’s against Apple’s bylaws. The Macalope did some searching but couldn’t find Apple’s bylaws online.
He did find the complaint filed by Keller Rohrback, a firm representing Apple shareholders in the options suit:
The Complaint alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties and colluded with one another to: (1) improperly backdate grants of Apple stock options to various Apple executives in violation of the Company’s shareholder-approved stock option plans; (2) improperly record and account for the backdated stock options in violation of GAAP; (3) improperly take tax deductions based on the backdated stock options in violation of the Tax Code; and (4) produce and disseminate to the Company’s shareholders false financial statements and other SEC filings that improperly recorded and accounted for the backdated option grants thereby concealing the improper backdating of stock options.
Now, the Macalope isn’t advising you just take the plaintiffs’ word for it, but their contention is that Apple violated the terms of its “shareholder-approved stock option plans.”
Just because backdating is OK at some companies, doesn’t mean it’s OK at Apple.
Second, the Macalope would suggest you take a look at Apple’s August 3rd SEC filing, in which the company stated:
On August 3, 2006, management of Apple Computer, Inc. (Apple) concluded, and the Audit and Finance Committee of Apple’s Board of Directors approved the conclusion, that Apple’s financial statements for the fiscal years ended 2003, 2004 and 2005, the interim periods contained therein, the fiscal quarters ended December 31, 2005 and April 1, 2006, and all earnings and press releases and similar communications issued by Apple relating to periods commencing on September 29, 2002 should no longer be relied upon.
(Emphasis the Macalope’s)
So, regardless of whether or not it violated Apple’s policies, it was not properly accounted for and not properly report.
If you want to convince yourself that all the other backdated options weren’t properly accounted for but Steve’s were, that’s fine. But the Macalope would point out that when you stick your head in the sand that far, it’s probably going to get in your ears and muss up your hair.
The Macalope holds an inconsequential number of Apple shares and, sigh, did some contracting for Keller Rohrback in the early 1990s on an entirely unrelated matter. He didn’t know they were counsel on this until he Googled up that complaint. And, no, the Macalope is not “legal professional” David Burke. Please.