Apple options probe shines spotlight on former execs Anderson and Heinen

“Now that Apple Computer Inc. has disclosed further details of its internal probe into backdated stock options at the company, the spotlight is falling on two former executives implicated in the investigation, Fred Anderson and Nancy Heinen,” Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal.

Wingfield reports, “While the Cupertino, Calif., company still hasn’t publicly named the two former executives its investigation has blamed for improper options-granting practices, people familiar with the matter confirm the pair are Mr. Anderson, Apple’s former chief financial officer, and Ms. Heinen, former general counsel and board secretary.”

“Apple — which cleared current management, including Chief Executive Steve Jobs, of wrongdoing on Friday — has turned the results of its investigation over to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple said in a filing Friday with the SEC that thousands of options grants between 1997 and 2002 were improperly dated,” Wingfield reports.

“Federal prosecutors are in the early stages of their examination of Apple’s backdating practices, in a process that could take months,” Wingfield reports.

Wingfield reports, “An Apple spokesman had no comment. Attorneys for Mr. Anderson and Ms. Heinen say their clients did nothing wrong. ‘As CFO, Fred did not play any day-to-day role in the granting, reporting and accounting of stock options and he was not involved in any knowing manipulation of the process,’ said Jerome Roth, Mr. Anderson’s attorney. ‘We absolutely deny that she did anything that could be called intentional misconduct,’ said Cristina Arguedas, Ms. Heinen’s attorney.”

Full article here.

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6 Comments

  1. You gotta keep in mind — the laws in question were designed to protect shareholders. It doesn’t look like shareholders were harmed in any way. The company is doing the best it’s ever done and the shareholders are making a ton of money. While you don’t want to let corporate wrong-doers off the hook, in the case the last thing you want is a penalty that leaves investors in worse shape than they were in before. I would expect a very carefully targetted penalty, if indeed there is one.

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