Back to you, Steve
Without going into a lot of detail, Apple posted a required SEC doc that essentially reaffirmed the company’s earlier position on options, although, in fact, in my humble opinion, it made things a whole lot worse for Steve Jobs.
One of my earliest blogs was on this subject, and Dave Winer was kind enough to point to it, which he did again after this last filing:
While clearly biased Apple fans are hoping this filing will make the problem go away, I see it as having the opposite effect. In fact, it suggests, unlike earlier filings, that Jobs had a direct hand in selecting backdating operations. Earlier, the (totally unbelievable) explanation was that Jobs was involved, but didn’t clearly comprehend the accounting issues.
Now we have what seems to be a smoking gun: Steve is admitting that he was involved in backdating in specific options grants. There is no more talk about being dumb about accounting. And it appears that his hand is directly involved.
What is probably worse, and something I alluded to in my first post on this: the company is so afraid of losing Steve (unthinkable), that it will do Anything to avoid it. In this case, that means, a) create scapegoats, and b) remain in denial.
The scapegoats, which I suggested earlier would appear, now have been “outed”: general counsel and the CFO, Nancy Heinen and Fred Anderson. I suspect that they will have a complex defense.
Meanwhile, Steve is now in deeper than ever. He no longer is being portrayed as ignorant, he apparently had a direct hand in backdating, and – worst of all – the company apparently faked a board meeting to justify the process.
Faking a board meeting is really, well, OFF THE CHARTS.
What the FUCK were they thinking? Is this not an appropriate time for such language?
I will say it again:
1. There is no Apple without Steve, and
2. I do not want to see Steve leave Apple.
But, my job is to call the future as I see it. And right now, this looks increasingly as though my original call, that Steve has culpability, is correct.