The options back-dating problems at Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) are getting worse.
First, it was disclosed that Steve Jobs knew about the practice but did not benefit. He also claims he did not understand the accounting implications. He does have an IQ of over 200. Now, US prosecutors have started an investigation and the company's former CFO has resigned from the board.
Of course, in the case of Hewlett-Packard, very few people would have guessed early on the that company's former chairman would be eventually indicted. So, the issue of what will happen at Apple is clearly still open.
If it is discovered that Jobs was more involved in the scandal than the company let on, who would replace him?
Among the candidates:
- Phil Schiller -- He is the long-time head of global product marketing. He has been with the company since 1997 and has been critical in most product launches.
- Tim Cook -- The company's COO. He had a long career at IBM. He also heads the Mac division.
- Tony Fedell -- One of the fathers of the iPod; he has an engineering background. He is a former executive at Philips Electronics.
- William Campbell -- One of Apple's leading directors. He has run a large public software company, Intuit.
- Jerome York -- Although he is over 70, York has experience operating troubled companies. He was CFO of IBM and a member of that company's board. He is also on the GM board.
- Jim Allchin -- Head of platforms and services at Microsoft. He intends to retire with the the launch of Vista. Allchin has an engineering background.
- Sue Decker -- The highly regarded CFO of Yahoo! She has a Wall St. background and now runs several key divisions at Yahoo!
- John Thompson -- The highly-regarded CEO of Symantec, has a background in running a large software company and is well liked on Wall Street.
Douglas A. McIntyre is a partner at 24/7 Wall St.