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Apple's Options Probe Swings From Steve Jobs To Two Former Execs

Apple says CEO Steve Jobs did not receive or financially benefit from the grants or appreciate the accounting implications.
The investigation into Apple Computer stock options swerved Tuesday toward two former company executives after an internal examination of the options cleared CEO Steve Jobs of any wrongdoing in the awarding of options.

The Wall Street Journal Tuesday reported that the Apple probe was focusing on Fred Anderson, former chief financial officer, and Nancy Heinen, former general counsel and board secretary.

Attorneys for the two told the newspaper that Anderson and Heinen did nothing wrong.

In an Apple 10-Q report that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm stated in part:

"The Special Committee concluded that the procedures for granting, accounting for, and reporting stock option grants did not include sufficient safeguards to prevent manipulation. Although the investigation found that CEO Steve Jobs was aware or recommended the selection of some favorable grant dates, he did not receive or financially benefit from these grants or appreciate the accounting implications.

"The Special Committee also found that the investigation had raised serious concerns regarding the actions of two former officers in connection with the accounting, recording, and reporting of stock option grants."

Apple had appointed a special committee headed by former U.S. vice president Al Gore, an Apple director, to probe options practices at the firm.

Jobs, who received millions of dollars worth of options that were said to have been improperly dated, received a clean bill of health from the special committee last week. Jobs received a large block of options in 2001 that is said to be of particular interest to investigators.

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