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Apple's Jobs summonsed over latest backdating charges

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs and other members of the company's leadership have been summonsed to appear before a court as part of a new lawsuit regarding the electronics maker's long-running options backdating scandal.

The latest claim come by way of the Boston Retirement Board, which is seeking to prove the company's directors wasted more than $105 million on the extra value of backdated stock options granted to Jobs, according to FindLaw.com.

The pension fund alleges that it now has specifics to back up its charges, which it reportedly gathered from a records inspection action initiated earlier in the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

It has yet to disclose those details, however, because the court has not yet ruled on how the confidential information should be treated. As such, the suit says, those specifics might have to go into an amended or sealed version of the complaint to be filed later this year.

Over the past two years, various other Apple shareholder groups have seen their lawsuits over the backdating issue dismissed or stalled for lack of evidence. This was most recently the case with a suit brought about by the the New York City Employees' Retirement System.

A California judge granted Apple's motion for dismissal in that case back in November, allowing the investors leave to refile an amended complaint as part of a derivative suit.

As part of his ruling, the judge noted that Apple's stock price didn't fall as a result of the backdating, which is somewhat of a prerequisite for most shareholder claims against corporations in similar matters.

That suit, the new complaint filed this week, and all those similar, have concern the Apple Board's approval of hundreds of millions of stock options for Jobs and other top-level executives from 1997 to 2001, which the company admitted to in October of 2006.

"The documents Apple has produced provide critical details about Apple's backdating practices and confirm that all of Apple's directors were aware of and participated in the backdating scheme," the latest complaint says.

Among those other members of Apple's leadership summonsed as part of the suit are William Campbell, Millard Drexler, Arthur Levinson, Jerome York, Gareth Chang, Edgar Wollard, Fred Anderson and Nancy Heinen.
post #2 of 65
Even if the allegations are true, they are minor in comparison with what others have done and continue to do in the world of big corporations.
post #3 of 65
I'm as repulsed as the next guy by the multi-multi-million$$$ parachutes being given to the execs who run their companies into the ground and causing general economic turmoil, but if there was ever a case of exec(s) who've earned whatever can be thrown at them, its Jobs et al.
What part of "you'd be making zero money on your investment and the company would be now out of business without Jobs" don't these funds understand?
Exactly what are they trying to accomplish?
Show me the harm.
post #4 of 65

"As of 17 November 2006, backdating has been identified at more than 130 companies, and led to the firing or resignation of more than 50 top executives and directors of those companies. Notable companies embroiled in the scandal include Broadcom Corp., UnitedHealth Group and Comverse Technology.
Some of the more prominent corporate figures involved in the controversy currently are Steve Jobs and Michael Dell. "

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post #5 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Even if the allegations are true, they are minor in comparison with what others have done and continue to do in the world of big corporations.

So, are you saying they should be let off because it's Steve "he who must not be named" Jobs?

The kool aid will be served now.
post #6 of 65
"Scheme" is a loaded word, isn't it? Perhaps the entire board knew a backdating scheme could be used to make more lucrative awards, but did they know the backdated shares were not going to be properly costed? I'd guess the plaintiffs will be hard pressed to prove that.
post #7 of 65
I thought the board of directors was just trying to repay Steve Jobs for all that he has done for the company.(one dollar a year is kind of low) If this is a lawsuit by people genuinely interested in apple why are they doing it. If Steve Jobs goes the stock price will plummet.




Edit:
Is backdating illegal
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post #8 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

So, are you saying they should be let off because it's Steve "he who must not be named" Jobs?

The kool aid will be served now.

He's pointing out that it...
A) Is a practice not isolated to Apple
B) Has been much more heavily abused in other companies

The SEC has cleared Jobs so this appearing in court is to damn others, not himself.
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post #9 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

He's pointing out that it...
A) Is a practice not isolated to Apple
B) Has been much more heavily abused in other companies

The SEC has cleared Jobs so this appearing in court is to damn others, not himself.

I reiterate. Is Steve Jobs above the law? If found guilty, should he go to jail, be fired, exiled to PIXAR, forced to use only an iPhone as a communication device?

*** disclaimer *** Blind follower status will be determined upon answering the question.

Personally, I hope that he is completely cleared and this is put to bed, but if he and his did wrong then they have to pay.
post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

I reiterate. Is Steve Jobs above the law? If found guilty, should he go to jail, be fired, exiled to PIXAR, forced to use only an iPhone as a communication device?

*** disclaimer *** Blind follower status will be determined upon answering the question.

If found guilty he should be punished in accordance to the law, just like everyone else. But this appears to be a civil case. If so, Jobs and gang can't go to jail. And as previous stated, the SEC has already cleared him of any criminal activity.
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post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

Is Steve Jobs above the law?

Yes.

Any more questions?
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

So, are you saying they should be let off because it's Steve "he who must not be named" Jobs?

The kool aid will be served now.

I am not a lawyer, however I do not believe there are any "They". This is a civil matter and not a criminal investigation. To my knowledge the criminal investigation has concluded.

At the end of the day, Apple not Steve, would end up paying any money to this group if found guilty.

To my knowledge such fines would hurt Apple bottom line, which in turn would hurt the value of the shares and as such hurt the shareholders. Are they then going to suit themselves because the suit they brought hurt the stock holders?

These people look like they are going for blood, I am not sure this is really a money issue. However because it is not a criminal matter, they are not likely to get Jobs in any trouble.

Just my believe, correctly or incorrectly.

This is getting to be a soap opera along the lines of "All my Children".

Agreed, guilty people/corporations should be punished, however there is a time and a place, dragging the issue/story (for 40 seasons) may not be good for anyone.

Lets do whatever and move on.
post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by diskimage View Post

Is backdating illegal

No.

What's illegal is not accounting for the backdating correctly. The board "knowing about a backdating scheme" is hardly damning, there's nothing illegal about backdating. Now, if the board "knew the backdating wasn't being accounted correctly", that would be damning.
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post #14 of 65
Fred Anderson, the previous CFO and suspicious foreigner, has already been found guilty of this fiddling of the books.

He clearly contradicted Steve Jobs' explicit instructions to "not give me anymore money, especially by devious means, I already have more than I can possibly spend in 10 lifetimes". Totally disregarding what he was just told, Anderson promptly handed Jobs a few million more for some sinister purpose of his own, which will be revealed in the fullness of time.

By paying the hefty fine Anderson admitted his guilt. I hope should Jobs be found guilty, by some incredible miscarriage of justice, that Anderson will have the decency to serve Jobs' sentence for him.

Given that Steve Jobs is only paid a dollar year to be CEO of Apple, he is clearly not doing it for the money, or the $750 million a year of perks.

He is doing it for the love of all Mac users everywhere, and that includes you and me, honeychil'.
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by diskimage View Post

Is backdating illegal

Only if it's not properly reported on the right lines of the tax forms and the SEC filings.

What makes the practice untoward is that options awards are presumed to be priced when it's made. Then those awarded options might try to have the date of the award altered so they can get a lower price. The company has to pay that additional difference too, when they're exercised.

While I don't know if he's truly guilty (he's legally not guilty), but I really don't buy this "the company's still doing fine, let him off" vibe. If he wanted more pay, I think he should have asked for it through proper channels than basically write himself a check without oversight. He runs the company, but he only owns a portion of it.
post #16 of 65
Sarbanes-Oxley was the worst thing to happen recently to US businesses. Laws on the books prior to it already protected investors from fraud. Just because of the abhorrent actions of the executives of one company, Enron, and our sitting president taking a personal interest in matters did this abortion go forth, severely affecting US competitiveness.

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post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Sarbanes-Oxley was the worst thing to happen recently to US businesses. Laws on the books prior to it already protected investors from fraud. Just because of the abhorrent actions of the executives of one company, Enron, and our sitting president taking a personal interest in matters did this abortion go forth, severely affecting US competitiveness.

Enron was the worst of it, but they're hardly the only ones that practiced devious deeds.

SOx probably should be repealed though.

I'm not sure what this has to do with it though, this stuff in the lawsuit is pre-SOx.
post #18 of 65
These people are ridiculous. Look at all these execs making tens of millions running their companies into the ground. CEO after CEO leave companies with stock prices lower than when they signed on and take huge compensation packages. NOT ONLY THAT, BUT STEVE JOBS NEVER EXERCISED HIS OPTIONS. PERIOD. He forfeited them and was given stock instead. Therefore, it doesn't matter what they were dated as they were never used.

As a longtime Apple shareholder, if the board decided today to give Steve an additional billion dollars of stock as reward for a job well done, that would still be a bargain for the company and for me as a shareholder. Give Steve a break. These people are not real shareholders in the fact that they are not interested in how the company does. It is lawyers trying to make a name for themselves.

Let's take a look at how other companies have performed over the previous 5 years.
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=5y&s...TC%2CIBM%2CHPQ

Anyone who was an investor in Apple, one of the best performing companies over the past 5 years, should not have one word of complaint regarding how this company was run or executive compensation, etc.
post #19 of 65
Steve's $1 salary gives him a bit of wiggle room on a lot of this... but it is wrong none the less.
post #20 of 65
S-Ox has nothing to do with this. And, it was a lot more than Enron (for starters, it was the overall mileu of Worldcom, Adelphia, Tyco, Xerox, GE, the telecom meltdown, the dotcom meltdown, analyst conflicts, etc).

And, opinions in the scholarly literature vary widely over the effectiveness of S-Ox (I would be happy to give you a couple of references if you wish). I am not a fan of S-Ox myself, but many executives that I have spoken will tell you that the while one-time costs (esp. IT and control system design costs) of complying were high, they are sort of glad that S-Ox did happen, since a lot of it was stuff they needed to get done anyway.

(Oops.... that was meant to be in response to SpamSandwich).
post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I'm as repulsed as the next guy by the multi-multi-million$$$ parachutes being given to the execs who run their companies into the ground and causing general economic turmoil, but if there was ever a case of exec(s) who've earned whatever can be thrown at them, its Jobs et al.
What part of "you'd be making zero money on your investment and the company would be now out of business without Jobs" don't these funds understand?
Exactly what are they trying to accomplish?
Show me the harm.

Simple answer. They want some of that $19+ billion in cash. Nothing about the world of stock traders, investment firms, and pension funds is about the quality, stability, sustainability or future of any company. It's about how much money they can wring out of the company RIGHT NOW. If they can get a few hundred extra million out of Apple that will be just fine with them. And they will dump the stock in a heartbeat if they think they can get more money from somebody else.

So don't take it personally. The pension funds could care less if Apple survives with or without Steve Jobs. They really, really don't care as long as their money is protected. It's vicious circle. A company generally can't raise enough capital unless they go public and sell shares. But once they do that they also usually lose some aspect of control because the stockholders want to see their stocks increase in value and they will do ANYTHING to make that happen. Just look at the Yahoo/Microsoft battle. Yahoo stockholders only care about whether they will get a premium price for their Yahoo stock. They DON'T care about whether this will be good for Yahoo or the industry at large. Another example is that creepy bastard Carl Ichan.
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Steve's $1 salary gives him a bit of wiggle room on a lot of this... but it is wrong none the less.

Yes, so let them fine Steve 10 year's of his Apple salary, all of it to go to these guys brining the suit and move on can we? I want to see my AAPL stock back above $200 ASAP and we all know we need SJ for that.
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post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCentric View Post

These people are ridiculous.

Not quite so. The law has to take its course. And pension funds cannot excuse ex ante behavior with ex post outcomes (e.g., he never exercised the options, the stock went up anyway, etc). The whole point is not AAPL or SJ, but the perceived value associated with keeping in line future 'likely offenders'.

As I have said many times before, this will be dragging on for a while. Although this ticks me off as an Apple shareholder, there's no escaping it.
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Sarbanes-Oxley was the worst thing to happen recently to US businesses. Laws on the books prior to it already protected investors from fraud. Just because of the abhorrent actions of the executives of one company, Enron, and our sitting president taking a personal interest in matters did this abortion go forth, severely affecting US competitiveness.

I disagree with you (okay, i agree that it's been costly for businesses but good for investors, employees, and anyone who has interest in the company). But as an auditor who's working on his CPA degree, SOX gives me great job security so maybe i'm a bit biased

imo it was needed, even if it did cause many public companies to buy back their stock and go private. The old laws on the books weren't good enough. It wasn't just enron that caused this, but worldcom, pharmor, adelphia, etc.
post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Simple answer. They want some of that $19+ billion in cash. Nothing about the world of stock traders, investment firms, and pension funds is about the quality, stability, sustainability or future of any company. It's about how much money they can wring out of the company RIGHT NOW. If they can get a few hundred extra million out of Apple that will be just fine with them. And they will dump the stock in a heartbeat if they think they can get more money from somebody else.

So don't take it personally. The pension funds could care less if Apple survives with or without Steve Jobs. They really, really don't care as long as their money is protected. It's vicious circle. A company generally can't raise enough capital unless they go public and sell shares. But once they do that they also usually lose some aspect of control because the stockholders want to see their stocks increase in value and they will do ANYTHING to make that happen. Just look at the Yahoo/Microsoft battle. Yahoo stockholders only care about whether they will get a premium price for their Yahoo stock. They DON'T care about whether this will be good for Yahoo or the industry at large. Another example is that creepy bastard Carl Ichan.

I agree with you 100%. What I can't figure out is why... Say they got a judgment that 105 million has to be paid back to the shareholders. Apple has to take the money out of cash, or let's go further and say that Steve Jobs has to pay it personally. So their share of 105 million will be what? 1 million maybe? But the negative publicity will cost far more even to their own investment. Not to mention the cost and overhead of locating and sending paltry sums of money to a million or so small shareholders. Plus, the board will probably decide to award Steve 200 million in stock a year or so down the road. The only reasonable explanation I can see is that a lawyer is trying to get a huge payment so that he will get his huge percentage. Therefore it won't be good for the pension fund and won't be good for Apple. In fact the only people it will be good for is the lawyers.

Lawyers who did nothing to build this company trying to take money out of it make me a hell of a lot more mad than a person who truly added tremendous value to the company taking money out of it. To me, if a law firm gets huge fees from this, I feel like they are stealing from me, while if Steve Jobs gets money, I feel that he is getting just compensation. Let's be real, if Steve said tomorrow that he wanted a $100 million salary per year or he would leave, Apple would pay it in a heartbeat.
post #26 of 65
It sounds as if the disgruntled shareholders want to stick it to Fred, Nancy and the Board of Directors for monetary "damages."

As has already been said, the company wasn't "damaged." The ROI we've all received is > 5 times the investment.

They are looking for a sympathetic Judge to grant them some extra monetary compensation.

It's not going to happen.
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Not quite so. The law has to take its course. And pension funds cannot excuse ex ante behavior with ex post outcomes (e.g., he never exercised the options, the stock went up anyway, etc). The whole point is not AAPL or SJ, but the perceived value associated with keeping in line future 'likely offenders'.

But the law has taken its course and the SEC decided not to press any charges. The issue here is a pension fund claiming damages for a loss, isn't it, and they haven't suffered any loss.
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

They are looking for a sympathetic Judge to grant them some extra monetary compensation.

Now you know I can just feel the love in this room and it is obvious that we all stand for real ethic standards being maintained, so lets just dip in our pockets and pay the judge whatever it takes to see Steve Jobs right.

It would be so demeaning for Steve to have to pay his own way.

Maybe Fred could be persuaded to come out of retirement and do it for him again?
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

But the law has taken its course and the SEC decided not to press any charges

...yet. IANAL, but the SEC has not absolved Jobs or other board members of liability either. And a civil suit need not have the certainty of a criminal suit: "more likely than not" is the threshold for guilt in civil matters, compared to "beyond a reasonable doubt" for criminal.

Quote:
The issue here is a pension fund claiming damages for a loss, isn't it, and they haven't suffered any loss.


To have a case, the plaintiffs will of course need to show damages. Perhaps the share price fell a bunch due to the SEC investigation and, to stop their losses, the plaintiffs sold at the lower price, or perhaps they had other reason that compelled them to sell at a time when Apple's share price was unduly depressed by the investigation, or perhaps the plaintiffs bought the shares later and feel they have had to pay for the charge correction but didn't reap any of the benefits, or perhaps all of the above.
post #30 of 65
Quote:
The latest claim come by way of the Boston Retirement Board, which is seeking to prove the company's directors wasted more than $105 million on the extra value of backdated stock options granted to Jobs, according to FindLaw.com.

The pension fund alleges that it now has specifics to back up its charges, which it reportedly gathered from a records inspection action initiated earlier in the Santa Clara County Superior Court.



If ever a company deserved to be sued with a Corporate Oppression lawsuit alleging a massive corporate fraud on the stockholders to the extent of $2 billions awarded over the last 10 and a half years as secretly backdated stock option bonuses to Steve Jobs and his puppet Vice-Presidents, Apple is a prime candidate.

Massive corporate frauds will no longer go unpunished, Al Gore's self-serving work notwithstanding. If a US Vice-President has no better judgment than use his name to cover a $2 billion corporate fraud, he deserves to be punished by law as well. Sorry Al, but if you don't know what you do, you should stay home and bake cookies.


post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

To have a case, the plaintiffs will of course need to show damages. Perhaps the share price fell a bunch due to the SEC investigation and, to stop their losses, the plaintiffs sold at the lower price, or perhaps they had other reason that compelled them to sell at a time when Apple's share price was unduly depressed by the investigation, or perhaps the plaintiffs bought the shares later and feel they have had to pay for the charge correction but didn't reap any of the benefits, or perhaps all of the above.

So, if an analyst makes a pessimistic prediction about AAPL and the stock price falls, I sell my shares at a loss, then it turns out the analyst was wrong and the price picks up again afterwards, can I sue the analyst for my losses?
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs and other members of the company's leadership have been summonsed

I can't blame you for using something you didn't create, but God I hate lawyers. How the hell we could end up being saddled with a bullshit concoction like "summonsed" as a short for "issued a summons", when "summoned" would do just fine (and makes the speaker sound much less like an illiterate twit), is beyond me.
post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciparis View Post

I can't blame you for using something you didn't create, but God I hate lawyers. How the hell we could end up being saddled with a bullshit concoction like "summonsed" as a short for "issued a summons", when "summoned" would do just fine (and makes the speaker sound much less like an illiterate twit), is beyond me.

Summon is a verb, while a summons is a noun. While it may not be the smoothest word off mother tongue, it is correct. Using summoned for summonsed would make you sound like an "illiterate twit".
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post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Summon is a verb, while a summons is a noun. While it may not be the smoothest word off mother tongue, it is correct. Using summoned for summonsed would make you sound like an "illiterate twit".

I can't say I understand that, here, isn't summonsed is a verb too? It would make more sense to me to use the verb form rather than verbing the noun into something else. It's as if a verb was "noun-ed", and then "re-verbed".

It sounds like another one of those rules which some pompous 15th century bishop made up and too many people went along with it.
post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

So, if an analyst makes a pessimistic prediction about AAPL and the stock price falls, I sell my shares at a loss, then it turns out the analyst was wrong and the price picks up again afterwards, can I sue the analyst for my losses?

I'm almost certain you can file a lawsuit, I doubt you'd get anything out of it.
post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I can't say I understand that, here, isn't summonsed is a verb too? It would make more sense to me to use the verb form rather than verbing the noun into something else. It sounds like another one of those rules which some pompous 15th century bishop made up and too many people went along with it.

The internets say it's a transitive verb.

It probably was created that way, but since all words and associated definitions are made up you only have two choices, either go with the flow or go your own route and hope enough people start using it that it becomes canon.
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post #37 of 65
Wasted 150 millions, thats like .00001 cents on the value of the stock then multiply it times 15 to really punish them for their dare and round it up to 1 cent per share affected. So likely the fund will be refunded 5 million pennies.
post #38 of 65
Pilfering is theft by employees.

Perks is theft by employers.
post #39 of 65
I wish they'd ask him when new Cinema Displays are coming out while they're at it.
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post #40 of 65
Quote:
The latest claim come by way of the Boston Retirement Board, which is seeking to prove the company's directors wasted more than $105 million on the extra value of backdated stock options granted to Jobs, according to FindLaw.com.

Could it be that Boston is still pissed off at Apple (Jobs) for moving Apple Mac World Convention out of that city?

On another note- The Boston Retirement Board aught to show up at the next Apple Board meeting (every board meeting for that matter) and give foot massages to all the board members. If Apple board members hadn't "back dated" Steve's option package", then Steve probablly wouldn't had given it up. In which case his option package would be worth well over 3 BILLIONS dollars today (even after deducting the 105 Million dollars of "extra value".). The 750 Million dollars Steve got in exchange for voluntarily giving up his option package, will probablly go down as the century's worst investment decision ever made. No wonder Steve is only worth 1 Dollar a year.
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