Woz on options
It’s really only interesting from a symbolic standpoint, and the Guardian piece he’s quoted in proffers several misconceptions.
By picking artificially low prices, some employees were able to buy undervalued stock at the expense of other investors and sell it at a huge profit.
The Macalope has not been a fan of backdating as a means of executive compensation because he believes it’s the wrong vehicle for the job. If a company is looking to hand a bunch of cash to an executive (and that’s effectively what backdating is – you’re handing the difference between the stock price then and the stock price now times the number of shares to the executive), well, that’s what a bonus is for.
But the fact of the matter is that if it wasn’t against a company’s bylaws and it was executed and reported properly, backdating was not illegal. Where the Guardian gets it wrong is that it’s not the picking of a particular date (and a particular price) that causes an expense to other shareholders, it’s the failure to report it.
Two weeks ago an internal investigation into the affair said Mr Jobs had known about a series of issues, but had not acted to stop the abuses.
Uh, yes, and it also said that Jobs was not aware they were “abuses.”