Apple backdating settlement
Jobs helped them get hired by Apple after the sale of Ne XT in the first place, and then rewarded them down the line with options on one million shares apiece. And so if these guys were going to realize the kind of money they could make elsewhere by staying at Apple, you know, they were going to have to make tens of millions of dollars. Several of them, you know, could be CEOs of a few big companies and a few medium-size companies. And as we’ve seen in the discussions of the past hour, I spent a lot of time trying to take care of people at Apple and to, you know, surprise and delight them with what a career at Apple could be – – could mean to them and their families. They weren’t underwater necessarily because of our performance, but, you know, the bubble had burst in the dot-coms, and here I had been working, you know, I don’t know, four years, five years of my life and not seeing my family very much and stuff, and I just felt like there is nobody looking out for me here, you know.
Two of those ultra key people, Rubinstein and Tevanian, came from Ne XT. But everybody likes to be recognized by their peers, and the closest that I’ve got, or any CEO has, is their Board of Directors. So I was hurt, I suppose would be the most accurate word, and, you know, the board had given me some options, but they were all underwater.
So I wanted them to do something and so we talked about it.
In other words, not the sort of people who could turn Apple around? Well, it just kind of slid into the fact that I stayed. The “mega grants” were designed to be one big grant instead of smaller grants every year. Jobs explains the reasoning behind his compensation strategy: One of the things that I felt was that rather than giving them shares once a year, as is common in some companies, I would rather give them four years’ worth of stock upfront. And who did you consider to be these ultra key people? [Timothy Cook] who at the time I think was our Executive Vice President of Operations, maybe sales and operations, actually. But Jobs wasn’t just rewarding his lieutenants, he was trying to keep them. While he was taking care of his top lieutenants by trying ti “surprise and delight them with what a career at Apple could be”, he was “hurt” that Apple’s board didn’t do the same for him.
So he had to have a little talk with them about swapping his 20 million then-underwater options for 7.5 million new ones, which they did. I was trying to help Apple by getting some of the Ne XT people into some jobs where they could help Apple, and that’s pretty much all I was doing.
So I wanted them to do something, and so we talked about it....