Anderson Blames Jobs In Backdating
In an interesting twist to the high-profile stock options backdating probe that has been ongoing for over a year at Apple, former CFO Fred Anderson is claiming that he warned Apple CEO Steve Jobs about the financial and legal repercussions of his backdated option grant, and that Jobs had given him assurances that the grant was board-approved.
The Wall Street Journal (Paid Subscription Required) has Mr. Anderson's full statement, which in part reads:
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 January 2, 2001. 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. He further advised Mr. Jobs that the Board would have to confirm its prior approval in a legally satisfactory method. He was told by Mr. Jobs that the Board had given its prior approval and the Board would verify it. Fred relied on these statements by Mr. Jobs and from them concluded the grant was being properly handled.
The SEC has yet to respond to these specific allegations. A previous report by Mercury News indicated that there has been a lack of evidence to support criminal charges against Mr. Jobs.
Anderson has recently settled with the SEC regarding his involvement in the ordeal, having admitted no guilt but having to pay a $150,000 fine in addition to paying back the received grants. Separately, the SEC is pursuing legal action against former general counsel Nancy Heinen, which she plans to contest.