Perhaps the Macalope spoke too soon
Brace yourself again, because Fred Anderson issued a statement today that says in part:
“Fred was told by Steve Jobs in late January 2001 that Mr. Jobs had the agreement of the Board of Directors for the Executive Team grant on Jan. 2, 2001,” Roth said in a statement.
“At the time Mr. Jobs provided Fred this assurance, Fred cautioned Mr. Jobs that the Executive Team grant would have to be priced based on the date of the actual Board agreement or there could be an accounting charge,” the statement said.
Anderson was told by Jobs that the board had given its prior approval and that the board would legally verify it, according to the statement, which added: “Fred relied on these statements by Mr. Jobs and from them concluded the grant was being properly handled.”
Anderson has paid $3.5 million to settle the difference in the options price from the strike date and the date they were approved and $150,000 as a fine.
But, wait… January 2, 2001?
Yes, January 2, 2001.
But Steve’s options for 2001 were granted in October, not January.
Yes. So these grants were not for Jobs, they were for other Apple executives.
Are you still here, Billy? The Macalope just needed you as a rhetorical device. You can go now.
OK. Thanks, Mr. Macalope.
Heh. Little scamp.
Anyway, Anderson’s statement goes on to say:
With respect to the October 2001 grant to Mr. Jobs that is also the subject of the complaint, Fred had virtually no involvement as he was not a member of the Board and did not have a formal role in compensation matters pertaining to the CEO. Fred had absolutely no knowledge of any alteration of Board documents and this is reflected by the fact that he is not even mentioned in those charges.
Well, then, that just leaves Nancy Heinen and Steve Jobs. And you will remember that Jobs’ October 2001 grant was the one with the forged board meeting. And now Anderson has indicated that he already made Jobs aware of some of the “accounting implications”.
Now the Macalope is wondering why the SEC has decided not to go after Jobs (assuming the San Jose Mercury News item was correct) unless it’s decided to let him slide on the fact that he turned those options in, which seems unlikely.
If one is looking for comfort in this news, one might take it in the SEC’s willingness to let Anderson settle.
UPDATE: Or, maybe he didn’t: SEC statement (tip o’ the antlers to swift in comments).
The Commission also announced today that it would not bring any enforcement action against Apple based in part on its swift, extensive, and extraordinary cooperation in the Commission’s investigation. 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.
Although, Apple != Jobs.
Well… at least not in the legal sense.
Parloff notes that Jobs was granted new options for October of 2001 not because of the impending introduction of the iPod but simply because his existing options were under water. Still, the introduction of the iPod could be considered a significant enough event to more adequately re-associate Jobs’ compensation with the company’s performance from then on, but that’s the Macalope’s theory.