Google Inc. Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said on Friday that his company had none of the stock option pricing problems that have been uncovered at nearly 60 other U.S.-listed companies.
At Google we have no back-dating issues, Schmidt told a group of reporters on the sidelines at the annual media executive retreat taking place here this week.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a California task force and federal prosecutors in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts are probing almost 60 companies - many of them from Silicon Valley - to determine if they may have manipulated the prices of stock options to top executives.
The top executive of the world's largest Web search company said in response to a reporter's question that he sees no fallout on the use of stock options in general as a tool for motivating high-tech employees in high-growth companies.
I have not seen any change. People still want options, Schmidt said. The options thing is a separate issue having to do with what is the regulation.
We grant options on a date certain, so there is no back-dating possibility, he emphasized. My guess is that is how you solve the problem.
(Reporting by Kenneth Li in Sun Valley)