Monday, August 18, 2008

Apple stock kerfuffle fizzles out

Back at home after a long series of conferences and some time away from Internet access.

Nancy Heinen settled the SEC’s stock option backdating allegations, bringing to a close Apple’s entire backdating kerfuffle.

Veteran Apple watcher Peter Burrows had the best explanation of both Heinen’s decision and the overall allegations against Apple.

It was disappointing to see Heinen issue a PC polemic upon the settlement:

With this lawsuit behind me, I look forward to addressing the greater challenges of social justice and economic justice.
The first problem with such drek is that it implies that satisfying customers, creating economic growth and providing high returns to investors are not worthwhile societal goals. Yes we’d expect such malarky from a lawyer-politician but not a former exec of two Silicon Valley companies (NeXT and Apple Computer).

Second, from what I’ve seen, tainted (or disgraced) business execs who start spinning their humanitarian goals are a) guilty as sin b) not going to do anything economically useful society ever again. Michael Milken and Bill Gates come to mind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I don't know her, but having been in a similar situation myself, I suspect you're wrong about Nancy Heinen's motives for devoting herself to causes of social justice. There is nothing like getting caught up in the Wonderland-like universe of the U.S. "justice" system to give you a new world-view. There you are, accused of a crime, facing a higher likelihood of incarceration than in any other country in the world and at the mercy of a prosecutor or governmental official who is more motivated by bagging a big fish to advance his career than by any desire for justice. The whole thing is being covered by a profit-motivated media who wants to deliver a lynching to a moralizing populace. In that position, any intelligant and compassionate person starts to have a lot of sympathy for all the common folks who may find themselves accused of a wrongdoing but lacking the resources to properly defend themselves against a well-resourced government. It is an eye-opening experience that may actually cause you to want to do something about the situation. I agree that satisfying customers, creating economic growth and providing high returns to investors are worthwile societal goals. But ensuring that justice is available to everyone, and not just those with the fanciest lawyers, is too, and may even be necessary to ensuring that the former can be achieved.