Apple takes £42.5m options backdating hit

Apple’s options
backdating issues have put an $84m (£42.5m) dent in its financial performance,
the electronics giant has announced.

The restatement came after the software giant had to postpone the release
of its quarterly results at the end of last year as Apple conducted a thorough

The US heavyweight set-up a special independent committee, chaired by former
US vice president Al Gore to look into options granted between 1997 and 2002. 

‘The special committee, its independent counsel and forensic accountants have
performed an exhaustive investigation of Apple’s stock option granting
practices,’ stated Gore and Jerome York, chair of Apple’s audit and finance
committee, in a joint statement.

‘The board of directors is confident that the company has corrected the
problems that led to the restatement, and it has complete confidence in Steve
Jobs and the senior management team,’ they said.

Chief exec
Steve Jobs
was cleared of any wrongdoing, because although the company detailed his
awareness of ‘a few instances’ of backdating between 1997 and 2002, he had no
knowledge of the practice’s implications on accounting – and made no personal
gain from the backdated grants, the FT reported.

More than 150 US firms are being investigated by the
US Securities and Exchange
(SEC) as the regulator wages a sweeping clampdown on the
practice. Despite the ruling of the special committee, the SEC has not formerly
cleared Apple of any wrongdoing.

Further reading:

Apple bruised by options scandal 

CFO pleads guilty to fraud in stock options

Heads roll over stock option scandal

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