Apple Computer Inc. cleared CEO Steve Jobs of wrongdoing, pledging “complete confidence” in him even though one of his stock-options grants was approved at a special board meeting that did not take place, according to a filing of the company’s annual report today.
The Cupertino maker of iPods and Macintosh computers acknowledged that documents were falsified to make it look like the required board approval had occurred, but reiterated that its investigation had not uncovered misconduct by current management.
Jobs and other managers did not financially benefit from the options, Apple said.
The company said it had informed the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the results of its findings.
Apple made a similar statement in early October.
Apple will record an $84 million charge to correct the improper accounting for options. Thousands of stock option grants between 1997 and 2002 used the wrong date, the company said.
The statements alleviated concern on Wall Street that Jobs might be forced to step down, buoying shares as much as 5 percent. Apple stock had fluctuated this week amid speculation that the annual report would more directly connect Jobs to suspicious stock options grants at the company. Analysts shrugged off such speculation, saying they were certain the CEO would be exonerated.