Apple Is Warned, But Jobs Is Cleared of Misdeeds

Apple has restated its earnings and admits that it backdated thousands stock options granted to executives. But a special company committee headed by former Vice President Al Gore cleared Apple CEO Steve Jobs of misconduct. The stock market cheered the news.

Backdating takes place when a company changes the date a stock option is awarded, in order to make them more valuable to the recipients. The practice isn't illegal, unless somebody tries to conceal it from investors. U.S. officials have been investigating dozens of companies for backdating and have already filed charges against executives at two firms. Today's filing is an attempt by Apple to show that it's on top of the matter.

Though the investigation cleared Jobs and other top managers, it did cite "serious concerns" about how two former company officers accounted for stock options. The company didn't identify them, or say what they might have done. But press reports have identified one of them as former chief financial officer Fred Anderson.

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