Microsoft stock option backdating

13-Nov-2014 21:10

If you look at all the press releases from various companies on the options backdating issue and start to detect patterns, you cannot but help think they are written all by the same legal firm - they have the same boiler plate stuff, bunch of nonsense, a few technical terms and a few buzzwords. Their informal inquiry looks more like a indicitment.

So we are attempting to clear up the mess with plain-speak. What they say - ” The SEC has issued an informal inquiry against our options backdating practices”. We are not exactly sure what all we did wrong and not sure of what all we have to do to correct it.

Anyhow, the chairman is stepping down (but still the CEO) and RIM changed their report on the financial hit to what analysts were originally expecting (up from where it was before).

What does it mean for us WM folks - looks like "not much." And now here we are: a 0 million restatement, with Jim Balsillie relinquishing his role as chairman (he stays on as CEO) now that he's been directly implicated in personally choosing favorable dates for back-dated options.

One reason for the failure is that boards tend to rubber-stamp options grants, viewing their issuance as little more than a routine corporate function.

We see examples of Google, Apple and Yahoo paying their Chief Executives only

We see examples of Google, Apple and Yahoo paying their Chief Executives only $1 as their pay and rest in options compensation. Would we see an increase in number of boards requesting higher coverage from D&O insurance?

Unfortunately, as Levi puts it, "If people have the intent to defraud the system, then they're going to do it." But software might help.

NEXT: Finding Problematic Options Doug Bartholomew is a career journalist who has covered information technology for more than 15 years.

Options for executives typically are granted by the board or its compensation committee.

The strike price, or exercise price, of the option is the company's share price on the date the option was granted by the board.

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We see examples of Google, Apple and Yahoo paying their Chief Executives only $1 as their pay and rest in options compensation. Would we see an increase in number of boards requesting higher coverage from D&O insurance?Unfortunately, as Levi puts it, "If people have the intent to defraud the system, then they're going to do it." But software might help. NEXT: Finding Problematic Options Doug Bartholomew is a career journalist who has covered information technology for more than 15 years. Options for executives typically are granted by the board or its compensation committee.The strike price, or exercise price, of the option is the company's share price on the date the option was granted by the board.

as their pay and rest in options compensation. Would we see an increase in number of boards requesting higher coverage from D&O insurance?

Unfortunately, as Levi puts it, "If people have the intent to defraud the system, then they're going to do it." But software might help.

NEXT: Finding Problematic Options Doug Bartholomew is a career journalist who has covered information technology for more than 15 years.

Options for executives typically are granted by the board or its compensation committee.

The strike price, or exercise price, of the option is the company's share price on the date the option was granted by the board.

We see examples of Google, Apple and Yahoo paying their Chief Executives only

We see examples of Google, Apple and Yahoo paying their Chief Executives only $1 as their pay and rest in options compensation. Would we see an increase in number of boards requesting higher coverage from D&O insurance?

Unfortunately, as Levi puts it, "If people have the intent to defraud the system, then they're going to do it." But software might help.

NEXT: Finding Problematic Options Doug Bartholomew is a career journalist who has covered information technology for more than 15 years.

Options for executives typically are granted by the board or its compensation committee.

The strike price, or exercise price, of the option is the company's share price on the date the option was granted by the board.

Are boards going to have their own “internal spies” in each company to help report on internal controls audits?

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We see examples of Google, Apple and Yahoo paying their Chief Executives only $1 as their pay and rest in options compensation. Would we see an increase in number of boards requesting higher coverage from D&O insurance?Unfortunately, as Levi puts it, "If people have the intent to defraud the system, then they're going to do it." But software might help. NEXT: Finding Problematic Options Doug Bartholomew is a career journalist who has covered information technology for more than 15 years. Options for executives typically are granted by the board or its compensation committee.The strike price, or exercise price, of the option is the company's share price on the date the option was granted by the board.Are boards going to have their own “internal spies” in each company to help report on internal controls audits?

as their pay and rest in options compensation. Would we see an increase in number of boards requesting higher coverage from D&O insurance?

Unfortunately, as Levi puts it, "If people have the intent to defraud the system, then they're going to do it." But software might help.

NEXT: Finding Problematic Options Doug Bartholomew is a career journalist who has covered information technology for more than 15 years.

Options for executives typically are granted by the board or its compensation committee.

The strike price, or exercise price, of the option is the company's share price on the date the option was granted by the board.

Are boards going to have their own “internal spies” in each company to help report on internal controls audits?