Last week was “quite the week for Apple shareholders. The company announced an incredible second quarter, with profit up 88 percent, blowing past analysts’ estimates. Its stock pushed above $100 a share for the first time ever,” Joe Nocera writes for The New York Times.
“Then there was this options backdating news of the week: The Securities and Exchange Commission brought formal charges against Nancy Heinen, the former general counsel of Apple, and Fred Anderson, its former chief financial officer — settling charges with the latter for what amounted to a small slap on the wrist. (Attorneys for Heinen vow to fight the charges.) These were the two executives the Apple board has been pointing the finger at ever since it completed its internal investigation,” Nocera writes.
Nocera writes, “The SEC seemed to agree: Its body language this week strongly suggested that it had zero interest in pursuing Jobs, to the palpable relief of the many fans of Apple. The agency’s position seems to be that the chief financial officer and general counsel are the ones who are supposed to ensure that options are handled correctly, and therefore both Jobs and the Apple board are off the hook.”
“However, after settling the charges, Anderson pointed the finger right back at his old boss. Anderson had been involved in an options grant that Jobs made to his executive team in early 2001 — also the subject of a federal investigation — and he claimed that he told Jobs there might have to be an accounting charge if the options weren’t handled correctly. There is not much doubt that Anderson made this statement because he felt unfairly scapegoated by Apple and Jobs,” Nocera writes.
Nocera writes, “With all the finger-pointing, it is difficult to parse whether Anderson, a widely respected figure in Silicon Valley, did something worthy of government sanction. What is far clearer, however, is that Jobs simply does not deserve the free ride he’s been getting from everyone — the Apple board, company investors, and government regulators.”
“Let’s be clear here. I am not saying he committed a crime. What I am saying is that it is pretty obvious by now that Jobs was extremely involved in both of the options grants that have become such problems. The notion that Jobs, a notorious micromanager, would be oblivious while his team worked on these grants is pretty ludicrous,” Nocera writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Joe Nocera, for The New York Times, February 4, 2006:
“My iPod died… Like all iPods, it came with a one-year warranty. Although Apple sells an additional year of protection for $59, I declined the extended warranty because the cost struck me as awfully high — a fifth of the purchase price of the device itself… Although the tech support guy quickly diagnoses your problem — a hard drive gone bad — he really has only one suggestion: buy a new iPod. ”Since it is out of warranty,” he says, ”there’s nothing we can do.” You’re a little stunned. But you’re not ready to give up. On the Apple site, there’s a form you can fill out to send the iPod back to Apple and get it fixed. But you do a double-take when you see the price. Apple is going to charge you $250, plus tax, to fix your iPod. There is no mistaking the message: Apple has zero interest in fixing a machine it was quite happy to sell you not so long ago. Now you’re reeling. You’re furious. But what choice do you have? You can’t turn to a competitor’s product, not if you want to keep using Apple’s proprietary iTunes software, where you’ve stored all the music you love, including songs purchased directly from the iTunes Music Store, which you’ll lose if you leave the iTunes environment. So you grit your teeth and buy a new iPod. Of course since it’s a newer machine, it has that cool video capability. But you’re still angry… Larry Keeley, who runs Doblin Inc., an innovation strategy firm warns, the day will come when the iPod has a major competitor. ‘There will be competing platforms, and they’ll get robust, and other companies will figure out how to crack iTunes,’ he said. At which point, Apple will reap what it is now sowing.”
Okay, so crybaby wouldn’t buy the extended warranty, therefore Apple wouldn’t honor a nonexistent warranty, and unlucky New York Times readers were subjected to this fool’s laborious rant last February.
It seems his rant has simply shifted gears and continues today in a new form.
Shut up, Joe. Next time buy the warranty, genius. It beats reading your lame attempts to build mountains out of molehills.
[UPDATE: 1:50pm EDT: Updated with Take, reference to Nocera’s iPod screed. Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “David O” for the heads up.]