|Jobs didn't get implications, the company said. (FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Jobs helped to choose grant dates at Apple
But company says he didn't benefit; board backs him
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Apple Computer Inc. cleared chief executive Steve Jobs and the rest of its current management of misconduct involving stock option grants, despite Jobs's awareness of favorable grant dates.
The company said yesterday it has "complete confidence" in the executive team, though it also acknowledged the backdating of thousands of option grants and restated past earnings due to its probe of options practices.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing its probe, Apple said Jobs was aware of, or recommended the selection of, some favorable grant dates but he neither benefited financially from them nor "appreciated the accounting implications."
The options mishandling will result in an additional noncash charge of $84 million, the company said. In its full-year financial report filed with the SEC, which was delayed due to the options probe, Apple said earnings for fiscal years 2006, 2005, and 2004 will be lowered by $4 million, $7 million, and $10 million respectively.
Apple shares rose about 5 percent to $84.91 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market after the news.
The three-month probe identified a number of instances in which grant dates were intentionally selected to gain favorable exercise prices, the company said.
"The special committee, its independent counsel, and forensic accountants have performed an exhaustive investigation of Apple's stock option granting practices," former Vice President Al Gore, chair of the special committee, and Jerome York, chair of Apple's audit and finance committee, said in a joint statement. Both Gore and York are Apple board members. "The board of directors is confident that the company has corrected the problems that led to the restatement, and it has complete confidence in Steve Jobs and the senior management team."