Bloomberg: Apple’s Jobs should give back the $85 million

“Apple Computer Inc.’s Steve Jobs should give it up,” Graef Crystal writes for Bloomberg. “What am I talking about?”

Crystal writes, “Some $85 million or so that the chief executive officer collected because of a sleight-of-hand the maker of the iPod music player and Macintosh computers engaged in when it awarded Jobs some mammoth stock option grants. That’s money that should go back to the shareholders.”

“Apple’s well-oiled public relations machine has said that because of ‘irregularities’ in the grants, the options were canceled ‘and resulted in no financial gain to the CEO,” Crystal writes.

Crystal writes, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Full article here.

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33 Comments

  1. Graef Crystal is a well regarded compensation specialist, and one of those gadflies who has, quite rightly, blasted the obscene financial packages often granted to America’s CEOs, even for mediocre performance. If any of today’s CEOs deserves to be thanked for what he has accomplished through genuine vision and leadership, it’s Steve Jobs. That said, back-dating options is undeserved, free money from a rigged game. I would hope Steve would do the right thing. Apple can use that money to develop even more “insanely great” products.

  2. Shareholders: “Thanks for raising AAPL by ONE THOUSAND PERCENT” over the last few years. Now give us back the money you made. We know we only pay you $1 salary, and you’ve taken your pay in the form of stock, options, and use of a company jet, but how dare you actually make money from that!.

    Yeah, right.

  3. ==
    I would hope Steve would do the right thing. Apple can use that money to develop even more “insanely great” products.
    ==

    . <- $85,000,000
    ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. …. <- $8,000,000,000 (Cash Apple has, approx.)

    Jobs is worth far more than a paltry 85 million to Apple.

    It probably costs Apple $85,000,000 per quarter for rent/electricity for its retail operations alone. (guessing)

  4. The options have nothing to do with Steve. Leave it to him to decide whether or not he wants to give them back. 85m means nothing to him. Passion for making great stuff is what drives him. This stinks of backoffice admin trying to pick on the pencils the rainmakers are entitled each month. I see that everyday at work.

  5. This has nothing to do with what Jobs is worth and everything to do with abiding by the law and Apple’s image as a company. Likewise, he doesn’t get to evade his taxes just because he is worth a lot to the US economy.

  6. realist, you obviously have no clue, and your analogy is inapposite. There is no proof of any wrongdoing; in fact, there is proof of the opposite, i.e., that there was in fact no wrongdoing on his part. Crystal’s elaborate timeline, written to sound suspicious, actually shows that. Cancellation of options, timing of options, re-issuance of options, etc., are all perfectly legal things to do. They have accounting impacts, though of what significance here is unclear [where there is no showing of dilution to other shareholders, and where it appears that Apple’s compliance with SFAS 123 is already demonstrated]. He got old options cancelled [something my company did too for ALL its stockholders, not merely execs], and new ones issued at a better strike price. In the quantities he receive, they are almost all non-qualified, and so no favorable tax treatment will likely be received [though that’s not iron-clad]. What he got was a cheaper strike price or basis, which means less overall “cost” in the event of exercise, and thus potentially more gain to him. Ironically, depending on the timing, there might actually have been a benefit to Apple, not the reverse that Crystal and others seem to assume. In the end, Crystal is complainign about the overall package; he is, as someone else noted, a gadfly who likes to point out how ridiculously high some executive comp packages are. Jobs gets paid a lot; Apple market share is improving, Apple image is at an all-time high, and my APPL stock is way, WAY up. The shareholder votes at Apple suggest that few, if any, are dissatisifed with Jobs’ performance or pay. I guess I am in their camp. So, maybe I don’t see it the same way Crystal does. At least his opinion is a relatively informed one, unlike yours.

  7. Graef Crystal is supposed to be some sort of compensation specialist? It’s conspicuous that he omitted any mention of Jobs’ $1 annual salary. Nor does he give jobs due credit for saving Apple and building billions of dollars of shareholder value. His attack on Jobs was unbalanced and disproportionate to the facts.

    I advise Steve Jobs to ignore Graef Crystal’s bleatings. There was no disclaimer in the article indicating that Crystal owns Apple shares in the first place. The Apple shareholders and customers say piss on Graef Crystal. We back Jobs 100%.

  8. Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s behind about Crystal’s opinion. It’s none of his business. It *IS* my business. I own a piece of Apple. And for every $1000 I put in 4 years ago I now have roughly $10,000. I don’t care how much money Jobs makes or how it’s paid. As a stockholder I employ him to run the company. He’s done a fantastic job. What has Mr. Crystal done for anybody lately?

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