Former Apple CFO Fred Anderson's statement about Steve Jobs and the company's options backdating issue was telling because it's rare that a top exec throws another one under the bus in a statement outside of a courtroom.
Shame none of it matters without documentation.
Unless Anderson's account (Techmeme discussion)--which I'm inclined to believe--has been documented Teflon Jobs will remain untouchable.
It's obvious that Anderson's statement is carefully worded to clear his name. He settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but paid a small fine and never admitted guilt. Anderson can also be a top executive at a publicly traded company.
Fred was told by Steve Jobs in late January 2001 that Mr. Jobs had the agreement of the Board of Directors for the Executive Team grant on January 2, 2001. At the time Mr. Jobs provided Fred this assurance, Fred cautioned Mr. Jobs that the Executive Team grant would have to be priced based on the date of the actual Board agreement or there could be an accounting charge. He further advised Mr. Jobs that the Board would have to confirm its prior approval in a legally satisfactory method. He was told by Mr. Jobs that the Board had given its prior approval and the Board would verify it. Fred relied on these statements by Mr. Jobs and from them concluded the grant was being properly handled.
But given Anderson's SEC settlement clears him for the most part there has to be another motive behind his statement. The motive: He's tired of the Steve's Teflon. It's extremely odd that former Apple general counsel Nancy Heinen is taking the fall for the options backdating issue.
Does anyone really buy that? Since when does the top lawyer and CFO take a hit and the CEO goes unscathed. Anderson's statement is an attempt at getting some sort of Jobs hand slap going. Anderson gets some credit for bravado, but it's hard to dent a technology messiah. The reality distortion is strong and the iPhone is coming.