Pixar executives including Apple CEO Steve Jobs have been exonerated of being complicit in stock options backdating at the animation company by new owner, Walt Disney.
Walt Disney on Friday revealed that its own internal probe had identified some cases in which Pixar Animation Studios had backdated some employee stock options before being acquired by Disney (from Steve Jobs) in a $7.4 billion all-stock deal last year.
John E Pepper Junior, chairman of the Walt Disney board, said: "The Audit Committee and the Board of The Walt Disney Company have completed their investigation into stock option practices at Pixar prior to the date of its acquisition by Disney.
"The Committee and Board have concluded that while options were backdated at Pixar prior to the acquisition, no one currently associated with the company engaged in any intentional or deliberate acts of misconduct."
The statement seems to clear Disney-Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter and also Steve Jobs, (who now sits on Disney's board as the largest individual shareholder, following Disney's Pixar acquisition).
Walt Disney has also chosen to help Pixar employees affected by the identified stock options backdating scandal.
"The Board further determined that Disney should address the additional income tax liability issues facing Pixar employees who hold such options, including participating in programs established by the IRS and the State of California to facilitate the payment of such taxes on behalf of employees. The company expects that the impact associated with remedying these tax issues will not be material to the Disney financial statements," Pepper's statement read.
Jobs remains under scrutiny for historical options backdating practices at both Apple and Pixar.