Options Backdating Doubts in Pixar Deal: WSJ

A payment from animation studio Pixar, thought to have been arranged by Steve Jobs, to the film director John Lasseter, is raising concerns that it included improperly backdated stock options, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The payment was a 2001 employment contract between Pixar and Lasseter and is said to have included “especially well-timed” stock-options, the Journal said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Jobs was chairman and CEO of Pixar at the time the contract was drawn up but it is still unclear what role, if any, he played in its arrangement, the Journal said.

Walt Disney, which bought Pixar last year, is conducting an internal investigation into all of the company’s options-granting practices. Jobs is now a member of Disney’s board of directors.

The grant in question is one of several the Emeryville, Calif., movie company awarded at yearly lows, which has led to the concerns they were improperly backdated.

Disney declined to comment beyond its previous statements.