Apple saved by record earnings?

After having settled a lawsuit brought against him by the SEC in the options-backdating investigation, Apple’s former CFO Fred Anderson threw “an extraordinarily sharp elbow” at Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, New York Times John Markoff and Matt Richtel writes today.

They’re referring to Andersons statement Wednesday that he advised Steve Jobs about the accounting issues and potential consequences in the options-case and that he had received assurances in return.

Simultaneously the Apple-share jumped to a new all-time high after the company late last night reported an 88 percent surge in second-quarter earnings. The results blew past Wall Street’s estimates for the period, Dan Gallagher at MarketWatch reports.

The question many ask is why is Fred Anderson acting out in public after his settlement? And will Apples five star-earnings report be of higher interest than further investigation into what really happened when the options were backdated in 2001 – something we commented on earlier this week?

At Good Morning Silicon Valley John Murrell wonders “which will fade first — the euphoria over performance or the cloud over the CEO’s office”. Kevin Kelleher at GigaOM is into a simular analysis: “Unfortunately, the success will also probably keep CEO Steve Jobs from facing deeper scrutiny for the company’s backdating scandal, an omission of clarity that could cause harm far beyond Cupertino,” he writes.

Thursdays online-buzz also dealt much with the relationship between Andersen and Jobs, who used to be really close. At The Next Net Erick Schonfeldt writes that Fred Anderson is trying to save his reputation and in effect shifting blame to his former boss: “But when your boss is Steve Jobs and he tells you the board has cleared something, who is going to question him,” he writes adding that if Apple keeps announcing record earnings and Jobs keeps out of the SEC’s crosshairs, investors won’t care.

Meanwhile Apple board members Bill Campbell, Millard Drexler, Albert Gore Jr, Arthur D Levinson, Eric Schmidt and Jerry York released a statement saying that they will not enter into a public debate with Fred Anderson or his lawyer. “Steve Jobs cooperated fully with Apple’s independent investigation and with the government’s investigation of stock option grants at Apple. The SEC investigated the matter thoroughly and its complaint speaks for itself, in terms of what it says, what it does not say, who it charges, and who it does not charge,” it said adding “complete confidence in Steve’s integrity and his ability to lead Apple”.

Stay tuned for the next chaper.

By John Furrier and Tina Magnergard Bjers


Author: John

Entrepreneur living in Palo Alto California and the Founder of SiliconANGLE Media

2 thoughts on “Apple saved by record earnings?”

  1. Wonder what kind of deeper scrutiny Murrell would prefer to see!? Let’s say Apple’s earnings HAVE deflected attention (for now). Then iPhone will deflect attention further in July. And Leopard in June and who knows what else inbetween! I don’t see that happening. No one gets a pass with federal prosecutors/investigators.

    The SEC doesn’t give a rat’s behind about earnings, product releases and the like. Their investigators are bulldogs not easily deterred and if there is a murky bottom to the matter… they’ll drain the lake or dredge until they find what they sense is there. But, if they come out and say “This deal is over. Jobs is cleared and Heinen is our sole subject of interest…” Well, it sucks to be in the box.

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