Even as we’re all blinded by the halo emanating from the Book of Jobs these couple of weeks, I was amazed at the revelations that were divulged to me while reading a pronouncement from Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray entitled If Mr. Jobs Is Punished, Would Holders Suffer? - wherein he analysed the implications of the options backdating scandal to shareholders if Steve Jobs was indeed guilty, but at the same time examining the moral dilemma of it all.
Using a Steve Wozniak-like logical approach and applying some Steve Jobs reality distortion field techniques, the following astounding news was revealed to me, a conclusion that the Mac faithful have already known and believed in for years:
The Wall Street Journal revelation pronounces that that the options backdating law is there to protect shareholders, but if Jobs was indeed guilty and punished by being removed, then it harms the shareholders even more than the initial crime committed. So in this case, Jobs should be allowed to remain above the law - and thus by logical inference this means that Steve Jobs is god!
The following is a line-by-line logical examination of this revelation based on evidence from the article:
1) The Options Backdating law is to protect shareholders
“Securities laws exist to protect shareholders. If Apple is guilty of backdating stock options, the victims of the crime were, in theory, the shareholders who were misled. Apple shareholders, however, have benefited greatly from the tenfold increase in the company’s stock price in recent years. I doubt there is one of them who would begrudge Steve Jobs the extra $20 million he would have received if he had exercised the options. And I can’t imagine there is one who wants him removed as Apple’s CEO.”
2)…but if Jobs was indeed guilty and punished by being removed, then it harms the shareholders even more than the initial crime committed.
“If Mr. Jobs participated in backdating options, he should be punished. To let him off the hook would send a terrible signal that some people are exempt from the rules or above the law. But any punishment that hampers his ability to continue running the company would be a mistake. That is punishing the victim, and only compounds the crime.”
3) So in this case, Jobs should be allowed to remain above the law
“Walt Disney’s Michael Eisner, Hewlett-Packard’s Carly Fiorina, American International Group’s Hank Greenberg, Morgan Stanley’s Phil Purcell and Pfizer’s Hank McKinnell, to name a few, lost their powerful posts at least in part because of an inability to distinguish themselves from the companies they ran. Steve Jobs, however, is another matter. “Other CEOs caught up in the options backdating scandal have lost their jobs. If Mr. Jobs were to lose his, the principal source of Apple’s magic would be gone. While other companies take draconian actions to clear themselves of the backdating cloud, Apple is giving its leader a pass.”
4) Thus by logical inference this means that Steve Jobs is God
“Steve Jobs is Apple Inc. He created the company, and then came back to rescue it when it was headed for oblivion. It is difficult to imagine Apple continuing in anything like its current form without him at the head, dressed in mock turtleneck and blue jeans, conjuring up gratifying images in the minds of grateful consumers.The chief executive officer of Apple has good reason to think well of himself. As the founder of both Apple and Pixar Animation, he has produced remarkable products that have transformed three different industries: computers, music and movies. His trademark arrogance is more than just a personal characteristic. It is part of his brand.”
[no words of Alan Murray were harmed in the making of this mashup based on his original article]
“If Jobs is removed from office, clearly shareholders suffer. But if Jobs was involved in backdating and isn’t
published (sic) punished, society suffers.”
So based on the premise that a company should maintain and increase shareholders wealth, how much of a responsibility does it have to society to do the right thing?
Update: For those into more serious reading on the rap sheet, Fortune’s Roger Parloff does a good job in his article entitled “Is Jobs really cleared?”
Epilogue: 20 Nov 2007
It certainly has been confirmed that Steve Jobs is above all this legal mumbo-jumbo as the suit on Apple options was dismissed “because it was based on statements made more than three years before the case was filed” as reported in New York Times.
Judge Fogel said in his order that he would allow shareholders to file the suit again if they could show Apple filed false statements about the option awards on or after July 30, 2003. The lawsuit was filed June 30, 2006.
Judge Fogel dismissed a similar suit last Wednesday, suggesting shareholders could pursue their case by joining the suit he dismissed yesterday, a derivative lawsuit by Apple investors on behalf of the company, accusing directors and officers of breaching corporate duties.
Steve Jobs Messiah image: Courtesy of Luke77