Is Steve Jobs the Next Kobi Alexander?

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So Steve Jobs apologized for the stock options chicanery at Apple today, which the company admitted he knew about at the time. Weirdly, the coverage we’ve come across on this keeps focusing on the fact that Jobs did not “receive or otherwise benefit” from the backdated options. But we know from Comverse that this is a red-herring. Kobi didn’t get backdating options either. He just authorized them. And that landed him on Interpol’s most wanted list and eventually in a Namibian jail.
And it’s also not accurate. A chief executive doesn’t need to actually get backdated stocks to benefit from them. The benefit to the chief can be the ability to retain valuable employees at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible. That’s the theory behind the Kobi indictment, and it could become the theory behind a Steve Jobs indictment.
There is, however, a crucial difference. At Comverse, Kobi seemed to have set up his own private options granting committee. So far, it doesn’t seem that Steve was as directly involved in backdating at Apple.
Apple CEO Knew of Backdating [LA Times]

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