Is there no honor among thieves? Apple’s former CFO, Fred Anderson, blames CEO Steve Jobs for Apple’s stock options scandal.
Anderson says he’s innocent but pays millions to settle the government’s charges—then says the whole scandal is Steve Jobs’ fault.
I can see this one showing up as a made-for-TV movie on the WB, or whatever the channel is called these days. It’s “The Pirates of Silicon Valley: Part 2. The Robber Barons.”
What’s going on? A backdating stock scandal at Apple that may be ready for burial—if it were not for all the trash talk.
Apple backdated some stock options for various and sundry high ranking executives, including CEO rock star and AAPL co-founder, Steve Jobs. Apple investigated itself and said Jobs was in the clear, but everyone else should run for the hills.
They did. Legal counsel Nancy Heinen resigned, former CFO Fred Anderson resigned from Apple’s board.
The feds closed in faster than Republican Chad Counters in Florida.
In the end, Apple, Inc first, and then the Securities and Exchange Commission pronounced an end to the scandal. Apple’s announcements cleared current management of wrongdoing, but fingered Anderson and Heinen as possible scapegoats.
The SEC has announced that no action would be take against Apple in the investigation. Anderson, fresh from cashing in millions of dollars in stock and options, agreed to no wrongdoing but paid a multi-million dollar fine to settle his problems in the case.
Heinen faces a similar charge and may face a civil lawsuit or be forced to cough up money to cover what may be her own ill-gotten gains from her lengthy tenure as Apple’s top legal dog.
What’s interesting about all this is Fred Anderson’s attorney’s statement regarding the settlement with the SEC.
In other words, it’s over, and Fred admits nothing—except that, for lack of better terminology, Steve Jobs told him to do whatever it is he’s not admitting that he did.
In other words, Steve Jobs gets through the deal with not much more than some smudges here and there. Fred Anderson got some bruises and a dent in his checkbook, and poor Nancy Heinen remains out on a limb. For now.
We may never know the real story of what took place with Apple, Apple’s execs, and all that AAPL stock, but one thing is rather certain—what we’ve read today is not the whole story, and unlikely an accurate version of reality at the time.
Why? Because all the players have money, vested interests, high powered lawyers, and an Apple stock price in the stratosphere—who got harmed despite the manipulative stock shenanigans in the back office? Nobody.
Absent of much public truth in Apple’s latest scandal and settlement, I’m going to wait for the TV movie version—“The Pirates of Silicon Valley: Part 2—The Robber Barons.”
Hey, I’d even buy the DVD. I love an action movie. Apple is a technology company, so we could rightfully call it science fiction.