Steve Jobs has admitted that he knew of “a few instances” when Apple’s stock options were being backdated by employees. The three-month internal enquiry has found that the company had backdated options 15 times between 1997 and 2002 but found no misconduct by any of the current Apple management. Apple CFO Fred Anderson has resigned over the matter, and Jobs issued a public apology to shareholders. A statement from Apple said he “was aware that favorable grant dates had been selected, but he did not receive or otherwise benefit from these grants and was unaware of the accounting implications. We will now work to resolve the remaining issues as quickly as possible and to put the proper remedial measures in place to ensure that this never happens again.” The practice is not illegal unless companies do not disclose the options.
Gartner analyst Van Baker said “If this were to escalate to the point where Steve Jobs were forced to resign, it would be a disaster for Apple,” but added that was unlikely. Apple’s shares dropped by less than one per cent after the statement. Apple “continues to believe” that it will need to restate its earnings. Release
Related: Stock-Option Reverb: Apple “Likely” To Restate Four Years Of Results
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.