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I count no fewer than 38 top executives at 19 high-tech companies that have bit the dust over this stuff.
We're talking top executives at big-name companies like Apple, Altera, Broadcom, Brocade, Cirrus Logic, Comverse, KLA-Tencor, Maxim, Mc Afee, Rambus, Sanmina-SCI, Take Two, Trident, Verisign, and Vitesse. That's serious fallout considering that options backdating is legit as long as the company reports it and accounts for it accurately.
After all, stock option backdating is all the rage these days.
This means they must wait for the stock to appreciate before making any money.
(For more insight, see ) Although it may appear shady, public companies can typically issue and price stock option grants as they see fit, but this will all depend on the terms and conditions of their stock option granting program.
Of course, they may have actually been pushed on their swords by their boards, but let? In the case of Apple, not only did the board send two sacrificial lambs to slaughter, but the feds hung some pretty hefty charges on their necks to boot. VP, General Counsel, and Secretary Nancy Heinen, and former CFO and director Fred D. The SEC's complaintfocuses on the backdating of two large option grants, one of 4.8 million shares for Apple's executive team and the other of 7.5 million shares for Steve Jobs.
Heinen allegedly covered up the back-dating, which caused Apple's earnings to be inflated.
Anderson got nailed because, according to the complaint, he should have noticed what Heinen was doing and either stopped it or reported the expense properly.