Jobs Sorry For Apple Options Fiasco

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker could see its stock price tested on Thursday, a day after it announced findings of an independent inquiry into the options controversy. Among key findings were that through 2002, some Apple executives provided "favorable grant dates" for options, which were used for executive compensation. According to a statement by Apple, the probe found no evidence of misconduct by current Apple executives, although it said Jobs "was aware that favorable grant dates had been selected" on options to some executives.

"I apologize to Apple's shareholders and employees for these problems, which happened on my watch," Jobs said in a statement. "They are completely out of character for Apple."

While not naming names, Apple raised the spector of misconduct by previous executives at the company.

"The investigation raised serious concerns regarding the actions of two former officers in connection with the accounting, recording and reporting of stock option grants," the company said. "The company will provide all details regarding their actions to the SEC."

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Apple director Fred Anderson, who had been the company's chief financial officer through 2004, resigned from the board following the investigation's completion.

In its statement, Apple said the findings could have implications on the profitability it has reported in past years.

"Management continues to believe, and the audit committee agrees, that Apple will likely need to restate its historical financial statements to record non-cash charges for compensation expense relating to past stock option grants," the company said. "The company and its independent auditors are reviewing recent accounting guidance published by the SEC, and have not yet determined the amount of such charges, the resulting tax and accounting impact, or which periods may require restatement."

In addition, Apple is facing delisting by the NASDAQ stock market, as it has delayed filing its mandatory 10Q quarterly report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.