The WSJ produces the first new information on this story in a few days. Steve Stecklow and Nick Wingfield of the Journal report that Wendy Howell, the former Apple in-house lawyer who documented the Jobs option and the now notorious un-meeting [Ed: iMeeting, surely?], “contends that Apple’s general counsel at the time, Nancy Heinen, instructed her to create the false documentation”.
Howell, Heinen and the Apple CFO at the time, Fred Anderson, are all no longer with Apple, and according to the WSJ, none are talking to investigators – yet. Howell and Heinen’s people are issuing statements that portray their clients’ actions as squeaky clean – by pointing their fingers at their respective superiors. One would have to guess that they’re all waiting for the immunity offers that should come as investigators get closer to Jobs. (Which the investigators will presumably do, unless they’re deterred by the prospect of the immolation of Apple’s value that would result.)
Update: WaPo reports that contrary to Apple assertions that Jobs never benefited from the iOptions, SEC filings indicate that they were exchanged for restricted stock. The key assertion: “McGurn and other analysts also said the amount of stock Jobs received appeared to be inflated because the value of his options was exaggerated, at least in the case of one grant, by the improper backdating.” Note: the suggestion is that the backdating benefit may yet end up in Jobs’ pocket. Apple’s explanation for the apparent inconsistency between this news and the claim that Jobs did not benefit from the backdating is one that only a securities lawyer could love: “Steve Dowling, Apple’s director of corporate communications, said the 2003 transaction did not directly benefit Jobs because he could not sell the restricted shares until he had remained at Apple for another three years.” Which, of course, was always in doubt.