I found this post today on the Infectious Greed blog which features the transcript of a Steve Jobs deposition in what, judging by the questions, appears to be an option-backdating matter.
I encourage everyone to read a deposition now and then, so they can get a concrete feel of what they’re like, and to see how emails, press releases, and other communications can pop up, sometimes years after they are written or sent.
Back in the “good old days” when companies got sued when their stock dropped (as opposed simply falling with the imploding market), I encouraged marketers to periodically read class-action complaints for the same reasons. It’s one thing having a conceptual notion of something; it’s quite another reading a transcript.
The fun part about this transcript is you get some free insight as a by-product: into Steve Jobs, into the mind of the CEO, and into stock options in general.
As Kedrosky points out, you have to love the parts where he says he doesn’t really understand what the board secretary does (pg 77) or what GAAP is (pg 84). And the capper, which you have to work to find (pg 115):
Q. As a member of Apple’s Board of Directors does it concern you that there are signed minutes for an Apple Board of Directors meeting that never took place?
A. Of course.
Q. And why does that concern you?
A. Well, because it’s not true, you know. Yes, it’s deeply concerning.
Here’s the full document.