This led to development of the unsuccessful Apple Lisa in 1983, followed by the breakthrough Macintosh in 1984.
I count no fewer than 38 top executives at 19 high-tech companies that have bit the dust over this stuff.
We're talking top executives at big-name companies like Apple, Altera, Broadcom, Brocade, Cirrus Logic, Comverse, KLA-Tencor, Maxim, Mc Afee, Rambus, Sanmina-SCI, Take Two, Trident, Verisign, and Vitesse. That's serious fallout considering that options backdating is legit as long as the company reports it and accounts for it accurately.
Anderson got nailed because, according to the complaint, he should have noticed what Heinen was doing and either stopped it or reported the expense properly.
He also exercised and sold 750,000 back-dated shares.
Or that an investigation by Disney into options backdating at Pixar also cleared Jobs of any wrongdoing, even though he helped negotiate the deal in which Pixar's star film director, John Lasseter, received backdated options.
The bottom line: Claims that Jobs was unaware of the accounting implications of backdating are hardly believable, but there was no evidence to the contrary.
In a settlement announced concurrent with the complaint, Anderson - who neither admitted nor denied the allegations - agreed to pay back .6 million and never to do bad stuff again.
That seemed like a contradiction to me, but whatever.
In researching this post, I came across a number of recent reports on Henry Nicholas III, the once high-flying CEO and cofounder of Broadcom. While the story was enthralling, I didn't understand what any of it had to do with a federal investigation into stock option backdating.