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Apple is next in stock option issue

Posted: 04 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:stock option grant? Steve Jobs? SEC? investigation? Apple?

High-flying computer/consumer electronics superstar Apple Computer Inc. is the latest company to be touched by the continuing scandal over historical stock options grants.

An internal Apple investigation has uncovered irregularities related to the issuance of some stock option grants made between 1997 and 2001, Apple said Thursday (June 29).

Among the grants called into question was one issued to company CEO Steve Jobs, but that that grant was subsequently cancelled and "resulted in no financial gain" for the CEO, Apple said.

A special committee of Apple's outside directors has hired independent counsel to perform an investigation and the company has informed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Apple said.

Apple executives will not comment further on the matter until the independent investigation is concluded, the company said.

"Apple is a quality company, and we are proactively and transparently disclosing what we have discovered to the SEC," Jobs said through a statement. "We are focused on resolving these issues as quickly as possible."

Apple joins a list of more than 30 high-tech companies that have been implicated in some capacity in the growing scandal over historical stock options granting practices.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox recently issued new guidelines on the backdating of stock options "that will more clearly circumscribe the bounds of acceptable conduct."

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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