After a long Freedom of Information Act battle, Forbes landed a copy of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s 2008 deposition in the SEC’s suit against Apple (AAPL) over options backdating allegations.
But the part everybody’s talking about is when, during his deposition, Steve explained to the SEC lawyers why getting any options at all was so important to him:
Forbes: At some point in 2001 Jobs went to his board and asked for a big option grant. In the deposition Jobs said he had simply wanted a pat on the back. “It wasn’t so much about the money,” The Forbes 400 member told an SEC lawyer. “Everybody likes to be recognised by his peers. … I felt that the board wasn’t really doing the same with me.” With all of his prior stock options underwater from the dot-com bust, “I just felt like there is nobody looking out for me here, you know. … So I wanted them to do something, and so we talked about it. … I thought I was doing a pretty good job.”
Wouldn’t it have been nice, he was thinking, if the board had come to him and said, “‘Steve, we got this new grant for you,’ without me having to suggest anything or be involved in anything or negotiate anything. … It would have made me feel better at the time.”