While most press headlines have highlighted the apology that Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs made regarding the company’s stock options “problems,” news reports have either overlooked or buried the resignation of former Apple CFO Fred Anderson. In the same press release that announced the Jobs apology, Apple said that Anderson, who served as CFO from 1996 until 2004, informed the company that “he believes it is in Apple’s best interests” that he resign from the board.
Neither the company nor Anderson elaborated on the resignation decision, or the timing of the announcement.
Interestingly, Apple’s statement said that the options investigation “raised serious concerns regarding the actions of two former officers,” related to accounting, recording, and reporting of stock option grants. Apple did not name the two individuals, but noted that it will provide all details regarding its actions to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company said that its special committee investigation found no misconduct by any member of Apple’s current management team. The probe, however, did conclude that stock option grants made on 15 dates between 1997 and 2002 appear to have grant dates that precede the approval of those grants.
In a few instances, “Jobs was aware that favorable grant dates had been selected,” the company added. However, he did not receive or otherwise benefit from these grants and was unaware of the accounting implications. “I apologize to Apple’s shareholders and employees for these problems, which happened on my watch. They are completely out of character for Apple,” Jobs continued in a statement. “We will now work to resolve the remaining issues as quickly as possible and to put the proper remedial measures in place to ensure that this never happens again.”
Officials at Apple also said the company will likely need to restate its historical financial statements to record non-cash charges for compensation expense relating to past stock option grants.