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Poetic Justice for Stock Option Backdating

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 26, 2006

As a complement to the National Center for Employee Ownership’s new take on stock option backdating—so much in the news in tech and beyond—Executive Director Corey Rosen has penned a pithy poem on the subject. …

The Night Before Options
Corey Rosen

Twas the night before granting
And all through the board
All members were worried
About the CEO’s hoard.

The grant price was low
But not low enough
To buy our dear leader
All his dear stuff.

The letter had stated
The grant date with care
But members still worried
It just wasn’t fair.

We could just push back
His options grant date
To show him how much
We think he is great.

“But won’t that be fraud?”,
Worried one weak-kneed chap.
I can imagine it causing
A big shareholder flap.

And shouldn’t he report
Under Code 16-B
Just how much more
We have given to he?

And we must tell owners
Their profits are less.
It just seems to me
This is too much a mess.

And NASDAQ might force
Our stock to delist.
Investors will see that
And really be ….

“Enough,” cried all the others.
The rules can’t apply
As long as our stock
Keeps hitting a high.

So on Smith, on Jones
On all on the board
Let’s give our dear leader
His extra reward.

He’s a god, he’s a saint.
That we do know.
Because his consultants
Tell us it’s so.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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