Backdating is an illegal practice in which the grant dates of stock options are manipulated to coincide with low points in the value of a company's shares.
Jobs said he knew of the options backdating but was unaware of its accounting implications and issued the following statement:
"I apologize to Apple's shareholders and employees for these problems, which happened on my watch. They are completely out of character for Apple. We will now work to resolve the remaining issues as quickly as possible and to put the proper remedial measures in place to ensure that this never happens again."
The company conducted an internal investigation that cleared Jobs of any wrongdoing and that of the 15 suspicious grants, only one involved options granted to Jobs and that the grant was later cancelled. It’s been reported that the independent directors behind the investigation were former US VP Al Gore and Jerry York, former chief financial officer of IBM and Chrysler.