Anderson: Jobs was warned about options
Fred Anderson, until this year Apple's longtime CFO, said he warned Steve Jobs that backdating stock options would have serious accounting repurcussions, the Financial Times reports.
The statement comes as Anderson cut a deal with the SEC to disgorge $3.5 million he received and pay a $150,000 fine. Meanwhile, the SEC formally charged former GC Nancy Heinen.
In a statement circulated by his lawyers, Mr Anderson alleged that he had received assurances from Mr Jobs in late January 2001 that an options grant to several members of Apple’s top management team had been approved by Apple’s board on January 2. That was two weeks before the January 17 grant date specified in Apple’s company filings.
In late January, Mr Anderson warned Mr Jobs that the executive options grant would be subject to an accounting charge unless the Apple board confirmed that the grant had been agreed on January 2. Mr Anderson “was told by Mr Jobs that the board had given its prior approval and the board would verify it”, Mr Anderson’s lawyers alleged. “Fred relied on these statements by Mr Jobs and from them concluded that the grant was being propertly handled.”
“It now appears that the board may not have given the necessary prior approval to the grants,” his lawyers said.
As Anderson has it, there was no board approval, just Jobs' and Heinen's approval. Apple declined to comment.
If Jobs in fact was aware of the repurcussions and acted to select the Jan. 17 date anyway, that flies in the fact of the Apple board's earlier report that Jobs was unaware of the implications. It also calls into question the trustworthiness of the board's internal investigation and suggests that the SEC may yet show greater interest in Jobs.
Heinen is also at risk for federal criminal charges.