Apple Execs Hire Legal Council as Options Probe Continues

Apple executives are hiring lawyers as the company's stock options debacle continues. The news emerges as Apple CEO Steve Jobs faces further enquiries following revelations that two senior executives at his one-time other company, Pixar, were also granted share options in a way that maximised their value.

John Lasseter, the creative director behind Toy Story and Monsters Inc, and Pixar's president Edwin Catmull, were granted options just as Pixar shares hit a low point.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating 80 companies amid suggestions that executives "routinely and illegally backdated the options to a low point in the shares," reports The Independent. However, the report also confirms that there is no evidence that the timing of these grants was "anything more than a coincidence".

Meanwhile, reports that current and former Apple executives are hiring lawyers to deal with the investigation of irregularities in its granting of share options.

Apple's former general counsel, Nancy Heinen has hired defence lawyers Cristina Arguedas and Miles Ehrlich to represent her in connection with the investigation. Apple has hired George Riley, a partner with O'Melveny & Myers, to represent it before the government.

The company confirmed the investigation seems likely to require the company to restate profits going back to September 29, 2002.

Apple says it is focused on resolving these issues as quickly as possible and plans to file its Form 10Q and any required restated financial statements following completion of the investigation.

News source: Macworld UK

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