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NYT Reports Steve Jobs' Exoneration

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the happy-days-for-stevo dept.

Businesses 129

heyitsgogi writes "The New York Times is reporting that Apple has cleared Steve Jobs of any wrongdoing. From the article: 'In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said that while its investigation revealed that the company's stock option procedures did not include sufficient safeguards to prevent manipulation, Mr. Jobs did not benefit financially from any questionable stock awards.' As a result of the internal investigation, Apple said it would record $84 million in expenses related to the options awards."

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In other news... (5, Funny)

I'm just joshin (633449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402372)

Rosie ODonnell says she's not fat. Geek says that the 10 gadgets hanging out of every pocket makes him look sexy. Linus says that Linux is the best OS ever. Ballmer says the chair threw itself. Pot denys that the kettle is black.

Re:In other news... (3, Funny)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402410)

...and HP's internal audit shows spying on its board by the chair woman was all done legally.

Re:In other news... (3, Funny)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403568)

A North Korean Blue Ribbon Commission says that Kim Jong Il isn't a dictator and is beloved by his people.

Re:In other news... (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406572)

Saddam Hussein didn't dance a necktie-party jig.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17407000)

Derek Smart insists the Coke machine attacked him...

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403168)

I'm just joshin (633449) says his post is not flamebait.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403674)

Does she really?

This is a non-issue. (1)

The Neck (194515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402386)


It's not like they are Nortel.....

The_Neck.
.

...what the!? (1, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402408)

""Apple is in a much more difficult position than other companies in the backdating morass, because a significant portion of its market valuation is based on Steve Jobs staying at his job," he said."

Ah, and I suppose that if Bill Gates ever left Microsoft, Microsoft's stock would be doing just fine? (Note that there was a recent story from CNet news in which Gates went out of his way to say that he wasn't quite leaving MSFT yet...)

Geez - it's not as if Steve Jobs is God or anything (zealots' assertions to the contrary, of course. IMHO the only reason Jobs' return to Apple was hailed so highly in the first place was because the people he replaced were as incompetent as Hell).

/P

Re:...what the!? (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402482)

IMHO the only reason Jobs' return to Apple was hailed so highly in the first place was because the people he replaced were as incompetent as Hell).

Well, one way to look at it is that his return was hailed so highly in the first place because of the direct influence of the steve jobs reality distortion field (RDF). Another way to look at it is that he was hired because of the RDF as opposed to as a result of it - it tends to have a spreading effect that assists the companies he helms as well.

There's also the fact that NeXT managed to limp along LONG after it was proven to not have a hope in hell, and that Pixar is the most successful company in its space...

Re:...what the!? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402982)

The so-called reality distortion field is really just demanding perfection. In business, especially large ones, people slack because they know everybody else is slacking. Jobs' reputation of coming down to the smallest employee and either firing them or berating them for not producing perfection means that everybody feels everybody else is doing their part. The key ingredient is that despite this people like Jobs and want the team to succeed. Only a genius leader can do that, and that's why he's so valuable to Apple's success.

Re:...what the!? (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403312)

Hai, but one also needs to couple that with decent products. This is what seperates "Reality Distortion Field" from "Flaming Peckerhead". I don't think Steve Jobs would make a great AMWAY salesman. :-)

Re:...what the!? (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402498)

Well it is not that Jobs is irreplaceable but Jobs is heart of the company. The reason for Apples success lately was because the systems follows Jobs vision of a computer. Microsoft and Dell tend to compromise what all their customers say they want and put it in. Apple just put in what Jobs like. Hence being able to Switch OS's and Platforms without missing a beat. Democracy doesn't always come up with the best solution just one that everyone can deal with. Apple either you love it or you hate it. Apple does listen to your advice but just because a lot of people want that feature it doesn't mean they will put it in.

Re:...what the!? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402572)

I don't disagree at all that a person (or group of people, e.g. Mssrs Hewlett and Packard) can be the source of vision and be the very heart of a company. My assertion is that somehow the writer thinks that Apple would collapse into some sort of corporate supermassive black hole 5 minutes after Jobs cleaned out his desk and left the offices at Cupertino.

Seriously - Intel didn't implode when Andy Grove left. GE seems to be holding up okay minus Jack Welch... and both of them were HUGE driving forces in where their respective companies got to upon the corporate scene.

While I admit that Jobs has a bit more of a cult following among his employees than, say, Scott McNealy (but then most of Sun employees prolly though their former CEO to be a screaming bastard anyhoo if memory serves), Jobs isn't exactly the only source of vision - he can't afford to be if he expects Apple to outlast him.

/P

Re:...what the!? (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403400)

As a former GE employee, I can *cough*SixSigma*urp* say that not everyone was *hack*SixSigma*choke* so sad to see ol' "Fromthegut" go.

Re:...what the!? (2, Interesting)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402556)

Getting rid of incompetent management is harder than it sounds. That takes skill & balls. I've read a lot about Jobs' management style. Most CEOs don't seem to be as hands on. He seems to have a no compromise "my way or the highway" approach. I think his value is in his micromanagement.

Re:...what the!? (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402818)

Really?

Steve Jobs pulled the company back from extinction. During his reign we've seen the rise of OS X, the iMac phenomenon, the iPod juggernaut, iTunes, and other great software. The fact is the design and implementation of nearly all of Apple's products (especially the big ones) owe at least something to Jobs tweaking. Don't forget his massive performances every Macworld (less than 2 weeks, yea!).

The loss of Steve Jobs would be devastating to the company's stock, if not the company it's self.

In fact, not too long after they announced Steve Job's cancer and successful surgery last year there was an opinion piece in Forbes that made a very strong case that they were wrong not to tell the stockholders about it until after it was fixed because he was such an important part of the company that his health really mattered, compared to the financial results if the CEO of Bank of America got cancer. BoA has other capable people and could survive.

True or false, Apple is basically perceived by a great many people to be an extension of Steve of sorts. Without him there, it's not the same Apple.

Re:...what the!? (2, Insightful)

locokamil (850008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402886)

Judging by the amount of chaos, unhappiness and general unpleasantness in the world, I submit that Hell is actually pretty efficient...

Re:...what the!? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404790)

It's not that Steve Jobs is god, it's just that us mac folk are pretty afraid of what products the company will poo out if he leaves again.

Re:...what the!? (-1, Troll)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17405024)

Geez - it's not as if Steve Jobs is God or anything (zealots' assertions to the contrary, of course. IMHO the only reason Jobs' return to Apple was hailed so highly in the first place was because the people he replaced were as incompetent as Hell).



The sad part is so many people put him above reproach and the good guy in contrast to Gates in the great computer wars. Yet in comparing personal lives, Gates gives away more money than Jobs makes, and Jobs is not poor, yet he does very little as a philanthropist short of giving Apple computer discounts to schools to get more market share.

Jobs is just another greedy business person, I see him more like Ballmer from MS. Gates has been removed from a lot of MS for years, and personally I would trust him to do the right thing when it comes to society, Jobs and Ballmer I wouldn't trust to manage a bucket at xmas time in front of a KMart.

(I'm not saying Jobs isn't smart, or good at what he does, or anything like that. He has had good ideas, especialy the graphic design concepts he pushes on hardware, Macs look cool. I just think Gates doesn't get credit for the good he does do in the world, and he doesn't squeak very loud about it, so a lot of it goes under the radar.)

Re:...what the!? (2, Insightful)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17405936)

Jobs is not poor, yet he does very little as a philanthropist short of giving Apple computer discounts to schools to get more market share.

We've been through this before... Jobs may not have made any public announcements about his philanthropy, but that doesn't mean that he's not donating time and/or money to worthy causes. In other words, the only people who know how much (or how little) Jobs gives away is Jobs himself and his accountant.

I'm not trying to excuse any lack of philanthropy - if Jobs is in fact not "giving back" then that is indeed disappointing. But you and I don't know for sure what he's doing with his money (unless you happen to be his accountant).

The philanthropy of Bill Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406706)

The sad part is so many people put him above reproach and the good guy in contrast to Gates in the great computer wars. Yet in comparing personal lives, Gates gives away more money than Jobs makes, ....
It is quite understandable why the world+dog would see Gates as the top philanthropist. They been working hard to cultivate that image. [theregister.co.uk] And they have been quite successful.

"It's the disposition of the offerer, not the size of the gift, that defines the difference between self-interest and charity. Selfish motives, especially vanity and its corporate cousin, PR, cheapen gifts. There's also a general sense among people that the gift should cost the giver. It ought to hurt a bit. And it ought to be done primarily out of a desire to help another. Giving away money you couldn't spend in a million years is not charity any more than giving table scraps to a dog is charity." Read it in context here. [theregister.co.uk]

Nice to see. (2, Insightful)

sgt.greywar (1039430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402416)

Apple is no Enron. Sometimes they really didn't do it.

You think Enron would have reported itself? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402644)

Because that's all this is: Apple saying Apple didn't screw up. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo.

All we need now is for Jobs to write a book called "If I played games with stock options".

Re:You think Enron would have reported itself? (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402958)

True, but Enron was so much more than messing with stock options. it was a financial shell game, shifting the company's debt from one dummy corporation to the next in order to create the illusion of profitability.

Let's get this straight. (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403550)

OK, let's get this straight.

Apple does an internal investigation, finds a problem, reports itself, and you're comparing this with Enron [lehenbauer.com] because they also say Steve Jobs didn't benefit from it?

I guess someone's activated an even more powerful reality distortion field than Steve's.

"some wrongdoing" != "all wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17405160)

"Yeah, we found some problems. Some of them were with our boss. But he's clean. Trust us."

Sorry, fanboy. That's all this is. It might be true, it might not.

Re:Nice to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406648)

I completely agree.

Now, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in...

That ol' RDF (0, Troll)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402432)

Clearly the Reality Distortion Field is expanding over time. This is the best evidence yet.

Re:That ol' RDF (1)

Cyno (85911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403092)

Yeah, did all that LSD I took put me in some alternate universe where wrong is alright?

In related news (4, Funny)

dmuth (14143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402466)

An internal investigation by Microsoft has cleared Steve Ballmer of throwing any chairs.

Re:In related news (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403344)

A counter statement was later issued by attorney Flip Aeron, council representing the chairs in a civil suit against Mr. Ballmer.

"It hit, so you can't acquit".

Re:In related news (1)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403598)

A closer look at the Microsoft internal investigation informs us that, regardless of how the chair was set into motion, Balmer did not benefit from it psychologically and therefore the act might as well have never happened.

Whew.... (3, Interesting)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402486)

What a relief... Apple has made a press release that an internal Apple investigation found no wrongdoing by its CEO. I am sure that is worth a lot to the SEC and is in no way damage control against the investor jitters since it was leaked that the SEC was investigating...

Kind of like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402570)

...New Zealand's 'Police Complaints Authority', which is supposed to investigate complaints made against police by the public. However, the PCA is the police, and so, amazingly, the police are cleared of wrongdoing every time.

Kind of confidence-inspiring, huh?

Re:Whew.... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404268)

Dude, you've obviously never dealt with Internal Audit folks before! If they had an internal audit and never reported that would be one thing, but unless something is seriously wrong with a company I tend to trust internal auditors, they are brutal. If you have anything to do with SOX or HIPPA you know what I mean.

Re:Whew.... (1)

rgbscan (321794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404384)

>>If you have anything to do with SOX or HIPPA you know what I mean.

I do, and I know what you mean. Three weeks out of every year I sweat bullets and don't sleep while I go through my annual review with them. Internal Audit is the worst stress there is.

Re:Whew.... (1)

cmdrbuzz (681767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17405070)

, you've obviously never dealt with Internal Audit folks before! If they had an internal audit and never reported that would be one thing, but unless something is seriously wrong with a company I tend to trust internal auditors, they are brutal.

Heh I've never had my job called brutal before, thanks!
Seriously though whilst I work for a UK Bank doing S/I, I would have thought that IA would be just as thorough in any large company.
If Apple release the contents of the report, everyone can see for themselves what actually happened, but you can bet that the SEC have a copy and have read it very carefully.

Re:Whew.... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17405002)

While you have a point, and it will be great to see the final SEC report, remember that Apple was the original "whistle blower" here. If they intended a cover-up, they never would have said anything in the first place.

Re:Whew.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17405288)

Read the news stories, you jackass... Apple started and announced their own investigation long before the SEC.

Apple with no Jobs? (2, Insightful)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402530)

Apple may have cleared him. but the SEC hasn't. I suspect Apple is only clearing him because of the speculation, rumors, and falling stock.

The internet is buzzing [marketwatch.com] withspeculation that Steve Jobs may step down over reports that he profited $7.5 million in stock options by falsifying an executive board meeting. The financial times has a good overview of the unfolding story [ft.com] .

From the Article:

"Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computer, was handed 7.5m stock options in 2001 without the required authorization from the company's board of directors, according to people familiar with the matter.

Records that purported to show a full board meeting had taken place to approve Mr Jobs' remuneration, as required by Apple's procedures, were later falsified. These are now among the pieces of evidence being weighed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as it decides whether to pursue a case against the company or any individuals over the affair, according to these people."

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402716)

The article still doesn't indicate any wrongdoing on the part of Jobs. It does suggest that apple fucked up someplace. It also kind of suggests that Jobs was involved, since he was the recipient of the options... But it doesn't say so.

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (3, Insightful)

One Louder (595430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402740)

...he profited $7.5 million in stock options...
How exactly did he profit from these options when he gave them back without exercising them?

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

ArtStone (745847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406082)

So if someone goes into a bank and robs it and gets caught - and agrees to give the money back - then nothing wrong happened?

Did Jobs give the options back, or did Apple cancel them?

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406436)

There is nothing to suggest that Jobs gave himself those options. Some one on the Boaard/the CFO did.

A better analogy would be: If someone goes into a bank and robs it, deposits some of the robbed money in an account in your name (you don't know it is tainted money, besides you never use it anyway), then gets caught, and you give the money back to the bank.

So did you do something wrong? Just curious...

Astroturf Much? (3, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402836)

Falling stock? WTF? The only places I've seen people making a big deal out of this are posts by users on Tech sites. Meanwhile Apple stock is up nearly $4.00 today alone, and is riding at 10+ year high of over $84/share. Methinks there's some pretty heavy astroturfing going on about this. Because the facts seem to indicate that the shareholders and market in general don't give a flying fuck about this "huge" scandal. They're too busy watching Apple's continually rising sales and high profit margins to care about something as piss-insignificant as a $100 million in stock irregularities.

I mean, god damn people, this isn't ENRON or WorldCOM. Apple sure as hell isn't collapsing like a house of cards. The facts remain: Apple is making shit tonnes of money. Worst Case Scenario out of this event: Apple gets a bit of bad press nobody cares about, they pay a fairly minor fine (compared to their Billions in Cash and liquid assets) of a few hundred million plus maybe some back taxes, and maybe, MAYBE a CFO and some other financial staff get forced into early retirement. That's it. You think the board of directors (let alone the Shareholders(!)) are going to cashier Steve "Reality Distortion Field" Jobs over 10 or so million? HA! Get a fucking life!

Re:Astroturf Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403182)

"I mean, god damn people, this isn't ENRON or WorldCOM. Apple sure as hell isn't collapsing like a house of cards. The facts remain: Apple is making shit tonnes of money. "

I thought you were semi-insightful up until that remark. WorldCom owned a company that owned half the internet, it was called UUNET. Enron, within 6 months was back up without any trouble. Both companies owned enormous amounts of physical infrastructure assets (unlike Apple).

Take a look at Apple's five day overview. http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AAPL&t=5d [yahoo.com]

Their stock is anything but stable this week, and like the parent said, after the "apple announcement" it went up. They released a fluff piece that has no meaning to try and help their stock, and it did. The only thing that matters is what the SEC does here, and it looks like they are leaning in a direction that is Bad for Jobs. Even Jobs got PRIVATE lawyers after his dealings came to light.

Re:Astroturf Much? (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403542)

You mean he secured counsel when he became the subject of an investigation, instead of ignoring it or defending himself like an idiot? He must be guilty! I'm unimpressed, and I'll stay that way until somebody files charges.

Re:Astroturf Much? (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404794)

And if you were charged/accused of something bad you wouldn't get a lawyer even if you were innocent?

Re:Astroturf Much? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404214)

Frankly, I think the board of Apple will decide it's cheaper to have everyone at the SEC involved in the investigation assassinated than allow Jobs to step down.

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402868)

a stock option is worth $0 if not exercised, I have some from the dot-com era that aren't even good for wiping my ass (difference between apple's and mine is if exercised mine would have negative value).

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17405364)

No. A stock option is worth $0 if expired. It has non-negative value if not expired, e.g. you can profit from owning an option even if the underlying price never reaches the strike price (that's called delta hedging.)

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406034)

Ok - The parent should have said that a stock option returns no profit if not exercised or sold. If you sit on it for a bit and give it back (like it is alleged Jobs did) then you've made no money.

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (5, Informative)

wass (72082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403150)

You wrote:
The internet is buzzing withspeculation that Steve Jobs may step down over reports that he profited $7.5 million in stock options by falsifying an executive board meeting. The financial times has a good overview of the unfolding story.

Yet quoting from the Financial Times article you linked to
Mr Jobs later surrendered his options before they were exercised, implying that he did not gain any direct benefit from them. He was later given a grant of restricted stock by the company instead.

So where is all this internet buzz describing how Jobs 'profited' from $7.5 million in stock options that he surrendered without exercising? You might want to RTFA [nytimes.com] which has many more specifics than your links.

You further claim that Apple 'cleared him' due to speculation, rumors, and falling stock. But please explain how Apple can formally and legally exonerate Jobs without demonstrating exhaustive proof within SEC accounting rules that Jobs wasn't involved. Ie, they handed all results of their internal inquiry directly to the SEC, and if they falsified anything in there they'd be in far more trouble than they are now. And their internal investigation was quite exhaustive, with over 26,000 man hours [streetinsider.com] devoted to this issue.

Also, you'll notice in that NYT article that the focus of the blame seems to lie on two executives (Fred Anderson and Nancy Heinen) that have both subsequently quit Apple since this backdating scam and also have their own independent lawyers ready. And FWIW, I can't find the story now, but an analyst at Piper Jaffray claimed a less than 5% chance Jobs was illegally involved but that as CEO it's standard practice to retain one's own legal counsel for such a situation.

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

sideshow (99249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17405958)

So where is all this internet buzz describing how Jobs 'profited' from $7.5 million in stock options that he surrendered without exercising?

Yep, and when I gave back all that money I stole because I knew the cops were on to me, it totally kept me from being accused of theft!!!

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403748)

Yes he was handed stock and he handed it back long before the initial story about the start of the internal investigation. You speak of the SEC but they have not been involved as of yet nor did they initiate this investigation. Nobody has been charged with anything and the SEC has not accused Apple of anything so far. All we have is a bunch of spin from the media. Had Apple not taken the initiative to investigate this matter, we would probably not be aware of this issue at this moment.

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404402)

All we have is a bunch of spin from the media.

At least if it was media spin, there might be something there that we'll find out later.

All we REALLY have is spin from Microsoft apologists, jealous blogger pseudo-journalists, and people hoping to short the stock.

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

jmordoj (256283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404194)

I don't think Steve Jobs would stain his hands for 7, 8 or 20 millions, he sold pixar for a LOT more than that, and he has always been (or at least for about 30 years now), a pretty solvent guy.

I wouldn't think for a second that Jobs is a guy after a quick buck, I doesn't fit with his actions for the past decades.

Re:Apple with no Jobs? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404646)

The only thing insightful in this comment is how stupid the person making it is. Never mind the fact that Jobs gained nothing from the stocks since you cant profit from stocks you turned in, but for all purposes a internal investigation IS like the SEC going after them. All of the data gained from a internal audit is turned over to them and there are extremely strict rules for reporting these audits, meaning that if they couldnt find anything, then nothing the SEC could do would likely turn up anything either.

Thats not to say that some people where not being bad... but then they cleared CURRENT people, not people who left who could still be in deep trouble. But then this is nothing new these days. In the last year alone 78 CFOs have either resigned, quit, or been fired for stock option backdating. It was a dirty inside secret that a lot of CFOs abused and they are getting caught now thanks to Enron. In most cases the CEOs had nothing involved, or had no clue that what was being done WAS illegal.

Give it back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402534)

If my company caught me with an extra $84 million I would think they would expect to have it given back to distribute the proceeds with the shareholders, not just right it off. ..It's ok I guess that he takes so much from the company, after all, what daddy wants, daddy gets.

Re:Give it back! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402850)

He already did.

And while we're at it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402540)

My Mom has cleared ME of any wrongdoing too!

Why is this news in the NYT, much less Slashdot?

This Just In (-1, Offtopic)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402552)

OJ Simpson has cleared himself of any wrongdoing in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Rod Goldman. OJ's internal investigation revealed that they killed themselves.

Re:This Just In (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403308)

I can't wait for Steve Jobs's new book: "If I did profit from backdating stock options, here's how I did it".

Whole Lotta Fakin' Goin' On Over Jobs' Options (4, Interesting)

theodp (442580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402560)

Check out the documents Apple filed with the SEC Friday [sec.gov] acknowledging that a grant of 7.5M options to CEO Steve Jobs with an exercise price of $18.30 dated 10-19-2001 was actually finalized on 12-18-2001 when the share price was $21.01. Apple goes on to note that approval for the grant was 'improperly recorded' as occurring at a special Board meeting on 10-19-2001 - a special Board meeting that Apple now admits did not occur. Apple takes a page out of Mark Hurd's I-know-nothing-playbook [siliconvalley.com] , insisting that 'There was no evidence, however, that any current member of management was aware of this irregularity.' Which begs the question: Don't any members of Apple management read those Proxy Statements they provide to investors and the SEC? In 2002 [sec.gov] and 2003 [sec.gov] , Apple's Proxy Statements clearly stated that: 'in October 2001 the Compensation Committee recommended and the Board approved granting Mr. Jobs options to purchase 7,500,000 shares under the 1998 Plan in order to provide him with an incentive to continue to serve as the Company's CEO and maximize shareholder value.' Apple also points out in its SEC filing that Jobs did not receive or financially benefit from backdated options, apparently feeling that the 5M shares of restricted stock Jobs was given after 'voluntarily canceling' his underwater options grants in 2003 [cnn.com] shouldn't count.

Re:Whole Lotta Fakin' Goin' On Over Jobs' Options (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402724)

It's worse than that. Here's what Morningstar had to say about this:

We have historically not agreed with Apple's "no harm, no foul" treatment of its shareholders when it comes to option issuance, pricing, and follow-on dilution. We are especially cautious about the spin that this CEO grant was simply canceled. A careful read of the situation reveals two CEO grants under review, representing 17.5 millions options with strikes in the $18-$30-plus range, were nearly worthless in March 2003 when they were canceled and replaced with 5 million shares of restricted stock, worth about $7 each at that time.

Re:Whole Lotta Fakin' Goin' On Over Jobs' Options (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404966)

[sarcasm] Yes, and we all know that Steve needs those stock options to stay afloat with his $1 salary. [/sarcasm]

Jobs is a billionaire, what motive coud he possibly have for getting that money. He is the largest share-holder in Disney, he could easily sell some of that stock and make a LOT of money.

I don't see any possible motive for Jobs to do this other than to see just how well the Reality Distortion Field(tm) works.

Re:Whole Lotta Fakin' Goin' On Over Jobs' Options (2, Interesting)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406660)

I don't see any possible motive for Jobs to do this other than to see just how well the Reality Distortion Field(tm) works.

I don't think you understand how the billionaire mind works. They don't think of much of motivation when dealing with such trivial amounts of money. When you find a quarter in the vending machine change slot, how much effort do you exert to find the proper owner. What were your motivations in putting it in your pocket?

I'm sure Steve feels the same way. He had a bunch of worthless options, he traded them in for some that aren't worthless. So he had to fake a board meeting. What's the big deal? It's only 1/10,000th of the value of the company that he's pocketing. Divide the amount by the (my estimate) 3 million Apple share holders and it's only a bit more than 2 bucks a piece. They can afford that. Besides, he's entitled to that money because he doesn't take a salary and after all when they gave him the (now worthless) options a while back, they were worth something. I'm sure Steve feels that he was owed...

"...not benefit financially" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402568)

Couldn't he have still done something illegal but not benefited financially?

Re:"...not benefit financially" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403304)

Couldn't he have still done something illegal but not benefited financially?
That's the first thing I wondered, too, after reading those weasle words. Sometimes lawyers just talk like weasles out of habit, though.

Re:"...not benefit financially" (1)

MisterSquiddy (905066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403318)

Dishonest and stupid?

Re:"...not benefit financially" (1)

bagsc (254194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403986)

Yes. But this keeps him from being charged for fraud. "Three elements are required to prove fraud: a material false statement made with an intent to deceive (scienter), a victim's reliance on the statement and damages." Clearly, the first two occurred. If this were done last year, Jobs would already be packing up his office, because of the increased burden of proof thanks to SOX [wikipedia.org] . The question then is if the financial statements issued back then violated the accounting standards of the day.

Of course, creative lawyers will bring civil lawsuits on behalf of shareholders saying that there was damages in some other method.

Re:"...not benefit financially" (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404232)

Of course, creative lawyers will bring civil lawsuits on behalf of shareholders saying that there was damages in some other method.
So in otherwords, lawyers will find a way to steal money from shareholders?

Clinton and Algore trained Jobs well... (2, Insightful)

Voltar (973532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402574)

An internal investigation by the Clinton Justice Department found Algore did nothing wrong when he accepted gobs of soft money from the Bhuddist Monks at a "funraiser" due to "No Controlling Legal Authority" An Inconvenient Truth, Al?

Re:Clinton and Algore trained Jobs well... (0, Redundant)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402736)

It's not like we really need this kind of crap in this story, but an internal investigation by the Bush DOJ found that Bush did nothing wrong when he lied to justify a war, causing the deaths of thousands of americans, and when he approved illegal^Wformerly illegal wiretaps on private citizens, and all the other shit he's done that has caused him to issue more presidential writs than all former presidents combined.

Or in other words, we can point fingers all day, so let's try and keep the political crapola out of this story about Apple, Jobs and the SEC.

Al Gore is on Apple's BOD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403506)

The grandparent's comment has context whereas yours is fingerpointing.

Re:Clinton and Algore trained Jobs well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17404062)

Bush never lied.

nope, he didn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17404398)

...he already 'splained this, he just mispokerized which turned into rumors (spread by tarists) on the intartubes.

It was in all the papers...

Re:Clinton and Algore trained Jobs well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17405844)

Al Gore is a board member of Apple. You're just a crybaby.

So if Apple says that the execs aren't guilty..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402602)

..... then that's cool right? Perhaps. But am I the only one who has a bit of an issue with no third party (and by that I mean COMPLETELY outside Apple) oversight? It's not as if they don't have an interest in this right?

Re:So if Apple says that the execs aren't guilty.. (1)

wass (72082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403486)

But am I the only one who has a bit of an issue with no third party (and by that I mean COMPLETELY outside Apple) oversight?

You mean like the SEC [sec.gov] , to whom Apple directly gave the results and all details of their formal investigation to? And to whom they're legally obligated when carrying out said investigation, under penalties of perjury?

Now of course just because Apple finds these conclusions on its own investigation which is 'on the record', doesn't mean they're inherently innocent, the SEC will give their own ruling on the matter in the near future. However, if Apple did put anything misleading in this report, they'd be in far more trouble than they are now, not to mention the huge can worms in terms of stockholder lawsuits they'd open by willfully lying to the SEC this time around.

In related news, (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402776)

The US Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice have independently terminated investigations into Apple's reportedly irregular stock option grant activities. A DoJ spokesperson was quoted as saying "A superior jurisdiction has cleared Apple and Steve Jobs of all allegations, so we obviously have no grounds to pursue."

Re:In related news, (1)

ArtStone (745847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406178)

Was that Superior Jursidiction Al Gore?

(Al Gore is the head of the Special Committee that reported this "exoneration")

After all, there is no Controlling Legal Authority over Al Gore and his integrity in financial matters.

see:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/spec ial/campfin/stories/op030797.htm [washingtonpost.com]

for those who aren't familiar with or have forgotten what that phrase means...

Mr. Anderson... (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402790)

It seems that you've been living two lives. One life, you're Fred D. Anderson, Chief Financial Officer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number, pay your taxes, and you... help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in the back rooms, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo", and are guilty of virtually stock option crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not.

We're willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we're asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.

What about their CFO, Mr. Anderson? Even if Jobs doesn't go down the tubes, high-level people like the CFO resigning can still affect a company in a major way, and it looks like Jobs is trying to distance himself from the fiasco (not that I blame anyone for wanting to do that).

Hey dad ! (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402832)

Of course Apple cleared Jobs of any wrong doing, who else is going to bail their ases out ?

One Hand Washes The Other (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402974)

Seeds of Warren and 9/11 Commissions.

Apple has cleared... Apple said... (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402986)

I know that the law views corporations as legal persons, but isn't this taking it a bit too far?

In other words, corporate circle-jerking is OK... (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402990)

Apple said that while its investigation revealed that the company's stock option procedures did not include sufficient safeguards to prevent manipulation, Mr. Jobs did not benefit financially from any questionable stock awards.


If this stands, its shitty news for anyone who holds stock. What this would essentially do is legalize corporate circle-jerking. In other words, it would be OK for top buddies to make deals that individually don't directly financially benefit the decision-maker, but such deals would be made with the mutual (oral/untraceable) understanding that the next deal by the next decision-maker would financially benefit the first decision-maker.

Enron II - here we come!

Quote (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403234)

Steve Jobs was quoted today as saying, "I am proud to say that I have been exonerated by myself twice as fast as any previous corruption probe."

That Steve! Always the innovator, even when it comes to stealing from the shareholder. I'm feeling a strange sensation right now -- I think it's from the corruption-distortion field.

Re:Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17407072)

You're obviously not an Apple shareholder. Apple's stock pays no dividends. It's value is only what it sells for on the exchange. Whether Steve Jobs or any exec is paid (or steals) millions doesn't effect shareholders that action creates a panic on Wall Street. Apple's stock took a slight dip when this situation hit the news, but it has rebounded. Today's announcement sent it up again. My Apple stock has gone up in value -How have I been ripped off by Steve Jobs?

Did anyone else read this as... (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403482)

Did anyone else read this as Steve Jobs Execution? Guess I've been looking at too many Sadam Hussein stories online today...

edxoll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403652)

Smith 0nly se8ve

NYT Credibility (-1, Troll)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403720)

If the New York Times says it, then it must be true -- NOT!!

Re:NYT Credibility (1)

Niten (201835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403792)

Well hey, at least it isn't Fox "Mark Foley is a Democrat" News. Anyway, why would you have any reason to doubt the veracity of this report?

I'm not sure what this means (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404342)

If the New York Times says it, then it must be true -- NOT!

Are you saying that the NYT is incorrect, and Apple's own internal investigation did not clear Jobs? Or are you saying that somehow the NYT is biased in favor of Apple, and made up the entire story? Or are you actually talking about something completely unrelated to Apple, Steve Jobs, and the story at hand?

We all know that just because Apple cleared Jobs that doesn't mean there wasn't some wrongdoing on his part, but the NYT is merely reporting on what Apple found. Why do you think their reporting on this is innacurate?

Re:NYT Credibility (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404444)

If it wasn't for the New York Times, half of the world's blogs would be empty.

On second thought, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

In other news (0, Redundant)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404442)

Saddam Huessien just cleared himself of murder charges.

Isn't this like the... (1)

kwrxxx (1038350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404636)

mafia clearing it's boss of any wrong doing? I'll wait for the investigation by a federal grand jury to decide if Jobs did anything indictable and judge and jury to decide his guilt.

Where did the 84 million USD come from? (1)

@madeus (24818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17404952)

The article says "As a result of the internal investigation, Apple said it would record $84 million in expenses related to the options awards.".

Is this from expenses incurred as a result of the investigation or are these expenses that were not recorded previously, but should have been?

Analysis of the forum... (2, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17405112)

Now, I can not attest to knowing anything about this ordeal, but it has been interesting to follow how the forum is handling it. I've noted that most of the posts on this forum largely fall into two catagories: flippint remarks, usually involving common cliches and tidbits from geek pop culture thrown in for good measure; and then fairly serious posts by people who actually READ THE ARTICLE, most of which exhonerate Mr. Jobs. Now, I expected quite a few posts that would attempt to clear him and settle the unrest it has caused... but I expected more in opposition by people who actually have something worthwhile to say.
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