Options Backdating: Ex-Apple Exec Hires Attorney; Pixar Execs Also Scrutinized

Appleis former general counsel, Nancy Heinen, has hired defense attorneys to represent her in the investigation into improper stock options backdating that has affected many publicly-traded companies. A Law.com article notes that "some of [Appleis] current and former executives are [also] seeking counsel," although it doesnit say who, beyond the fact that the company has retained outside counsel to represent it for the governmentis investigation.

The article also noted that the scandal has forced some companies to fire their top executives, an action prosecutors have viewed favorably when deciding whether or not companies should be charged criminally in the matter. In Appleis case, however, thereis little information about which executives have received problematic options, other than CEO Steve Jobsi backdated grant that was not cashed in and was later cancelled. Heis not expected to face charges.

However, two Pixar executives working under Mr. Jobs -- creative director John Lasseter and president Ed Catmull -- did receive stock options when shares of their company had reached a low point, according to The Independent. Disney, though, said that it is not being investigated in the current widespread probe and has seen no evidence that the timing of the options was anything more than a coincidence.

Thanks to Macworld UK for the heads-up.