Pixar Options Backdating May Link to Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is already dealing with the headache of government investigations relating to improperly backdated stock options, and now he has to face those issues with the company he used to own, Pixar Inc., as well. The Wall Street Journal reports that Federal prosecutors are now looking into backdated option grants that were issued to executives at the computer animation company.

Prosecutors are especially interested in a grant that was part of an employment contract with film director John Lasseter in 2001. The stock issue date was on the lowest share price day of the year, and also happened to fall three months before Mr. Lasseteris contract was signed. Mr. Jobs signed the contract on behalf of Pixar, but it is not clear what role he played in selecting the stock grant dates.

Disney, the company that now owns Pixar, is conducting its own independent internal investigation. CEO Bob Iger commented "we arenit aware of any basis under which stock options that were issued by Pixar would have a material impact on our financial statements."

Federal prosecutors are waiting to see the results from the Disney internal investigation before deciding whether or not any additional action is warranted.