Steve Jobs finally gets his subpoena
The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but at least they are grinding away. According to today’s WSJ, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has finally been subpoenaed by the SEC. Something about the backdating of stock options. A scandal that has seen both Apple’s former CFO and General Counsel face charges. At this point, it seems quite clear that Mr. Jobs himself isn’t the target for the action, and that his subpoena relates to the SEC’s case against Apple’s former General Counsel.
I asked in January how Mr. Jobs could be shielded from all of this (see post “It is always the coverup“, January 15-07), and for a time Apple tried to put on a brave face. In April, the CFO began to point fingers (see post “Apple options mess continues“, April 25-07), but for reasons that were lost on at least me, the SEC still didn’t feel as though they had reason to proceed against the CFO’s former boss, Mr. Jobs, even though he received some of the options under fire. Jobs was also involved in the choosing of which dates were used for the options grants.
It wouldn’t appear that the SEC has benefited from a few more months of interviews with Mr. Jobs’ former executive colleagues. But the odds look to be higher than ever that Mr. Jobs will come away with a black eye from this back dating mess. And, if he’s really lucky, that’ll be the end of it.
All depends on what his former colleagues will say in their depositions, and what kind of deals – if any – will be struck.