Steve jobs back dating stock options
But Apple makes clear that Jobs was directly involved in some instances of backdating.The investigation "found that CEO Steve Jobs was aware or recommended the selection of some favorable grant dates." The committee hastens to add that Jobs "did not receive or financially benefit from these grants or appreciate the accounting implications." In other words, he didn't recommend backdating his own option grants.After accounting for forfeitures, Apple was forced to recognize stock-based compensation expense of 5 million on a pretax basis that it hadn't done so previously.Apple has essentially blamed former chief financial officer Fred Anderson and former general counsel and board secretary Nancy Heinen, both of whom are no longer with the company.No one's pay was "inflated" by backdating, unless you assume that the alternative would have been awarding executives exactly the same number of options at less-advantageous prices.Which, of course, you shouldn't assume since any sensible employee can see that if his each stock option is worth less, he should get more of them.Combined with the eroded value of his stock options in the dot-com bust, Jobs said he wasn't feeling properly compensated for his work.
Jobs has always maintained he was unaware of the accounting fraud involved with improper backdating of his options, and no government legal action was taken against the CEO and Apple.
Still, given that (a) backdating helps make earnings look better than they are; and (b) Jobs is a huge shareholder of Apple (10.12 million shares, as of last April), how could he not benefit from this behavior? Jobs recommended some backdating dates for other employees.
It turns out that Jobs did, indeed, receive backdated options—just not at his own direction. 18, 2001, when the stock stood at .01, the company gave Jobs a monster 7.5-million-share options grant dated Oct. By doing so, the company gave Jobs million in compensation for which it did not account properly. It also pretended the options grant was approved at a special board meeting, when no such meeting occurred. He received a massive grant that was approved at a phantom board meeting, though he didn't know about the phony meeting.
The reason for doing this was simple: stock options priced at or above where the stock is trading (aka, "out of the money" options) get favorable tax treatment compared to stock awards priced below the market price (aka, "in the money" options).
It was a tax advantaged way for companies to pay executives. Shareholders were correctly told the number of options granted and the price of the options.