Beyond stock options: troublesome signs at Apple

I’ve been reading Applepeels lately, and it’s not pleasant. Not, at least, if you care about Apple and its success.

Applepeels is David Sobotta’s recollections of a 20-year career with Apple Computer culminating in Director of Federal Sales. He paints a portrait of an organization that is seriously flawed, at times unethical, and unbalanced – at least, the sales arm of Apple. He doesn’t sensationalize, however; he seems to be simply telling it like it is.

Apple, of course, is currently embroiled in stock options irregularities. The good news is the company reported the problems itself. The bad news is that the rot seems to go deeper than just a few bad decisions.

While I wouldn’t be surprised if the options mess blows over with not-too-severe results, the fact that it’s delaying Apple’s Nasdaq filing is certainly not a good sign.

The real problem, though, might be Apple’s corporate culture:

Anyone who has worked at Apple, if they are honest and can detach themselves from the situation knows that Apple has accorded their vice presidents a special status to do pretty much what they please as long as they tell Steve what he wants to hear and the numbers don’t look especially bleak.

That’s obviously a very dangerous tradition.

[tags] apple, stock, options, steve jobs, nasdaq, john koetsier [/tags]