Options scandal: is Apple’s Steve Jobs truly safe?

“The pending resignation of UnitedHealth Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive William McGuire provided an inescapable sign that no executive is too big to be toppled by the stock option scandal — despite having many fans in the boardroom and on Wall Street,” Mark Schwanhausser reports for The Mercury News. “That news also could rekindle a question: Is Apple Computer’s iconic CEO Steve Jobs truly safe?”

“‘I don’t think there is anybody who is too big, too important or too rich to go to jail. That applies to Steve Jobs as well,’ said Paul Hodgson Sr., a senior researcher for the Corporate Library. ‘If he has done something wrong, he has got to go, regardless of the situation.’ But, Hodgson added, ‘I haven’t seen enough evidence either way that Jobs is involved or completely uninvolved in this situation,'” Schwanhausser reports.

Schwanhausser reports, “Trading on Wall Street suggests investors believe Jobs will weather this crisis. After tumbling as low as $50.67 in mid-July, Apple’s stock is up nearly 50 percent to close at $75.40 Monday.”

Full article here.

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  1. William McGuire may have to come up with $156 million to pay back the back dated options. He still holds over 1 billion $ worth of options. He also retires with a 6.5 million $ lump sum payment and gets 5 milliion $ per year for life. I feel so sorry for him!!!!!

  2. McGuire didn’t leave specifically because of the stock options. He probably could have weathered that. What drove him out was that, during the investigation, it was found that McGuire had a lot of personal business that was not disclosed with the head of the Board Compensation Committee.

    However, given the political nature of prosecutions these days (i.e. everything Elliott Spitzer has ever done), nothing would surprise me. The if the Federal Prosecutor for the northern California District has any political ambitions, Steve Jobs better watch out.

  3. I don’t think Apple will drop Jobs again for any reason. Not money, not if iPhone fails, not for emails to a page, not if Bill Gates turns up cool, not if he becomes a Republican, not if Mexico builds a fence, not if MDN’s Glaser thread ever ends, not if Bill goes gay, not if Hillary goes straight, not if Oz gave Pat Buchanon a heart, not if the sun exploded…

  4. Not being an expert in these things, or an informed insider, I’d say Jobs is safe. There doesn’t seem to be any personal involvement on his part, though some of it happened “on his watch”. I doubt his “job” is endangered unless finds a “smoking gun” indicating he DID something criminal or self-serving. Merely allowing something like that to happen shouldn’t be enough to unseat him.

  5. I don’t know. The Mercury News is not what I would call a “pro-Apple” paper!! LOL ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Maybe they had a slow news day and needed some spam to get people to buy papers.


  6. “Merely allowing something like that to happen shouldn’t be enough to unseat him.”

    Yet knowingly presiding over options fraud has unseated so many other CEOs. What do you think it will take to unseat him?

    Clearly fraud perpetrated on Apple shareholders from which he personally benefited is not, in your minds, enough.

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