Feeds

SEC targets Google director over Pixar options backdating

Schmidt comes out in support of Mather

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google Inc senior director Ann Mather is facing a potential legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for alleged stock options abuses that occurred during her tenure as CFO at Pixar Animation Studios.

According to documents filed by the SEC yesterday, Mather, who joined the Google board in November 2005, is accused of "violation of federal securities laws related to certain stock option transactions" when she oversaw the Pixar books between 1999 and 2004.

Google was quick to disclose that its director faced a possible nasty legal spat with the SEC. The internet search engine giant’s chairman Eric Schmidt, in a show of togetherness, said that the firm supports Mather’s re-election to its board at Google’s annual meeting next week.

"We have the utmost confidence in Ann's integrity as well as her abilities as a director," said Schimdt in a statement.

The SEC told Mather, who currently chairs Google’s audit committee, that staff at its Los Angeles agency will recommend a civil complaint be filed against her for alleged mishandling of stock options at Emeryville-based Pixar, which was bought by Walt Disney Co. in 2006.

Last year Disney admitted that some of Pixar’s stock options had been rejigged, but said no one currently associated with the company – including Apple boss Steve Jobs, who serves on the firm’s board – was guilty of improper backdating.

In April 2007 the SEC accused Apple's former top lawyer of fraudulently backdating options to under-report company expenses by $40m. Jobs was cleared by the company’s board of directors, who concluded that he didn’t understand the accounting implications.

Options backdating is not an illegal practice as long as the adjustments are disclosed to shareholders and the relevant authorities. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.