The indispensible CEO

Amid the mess of Apple Computer's executive options scandal, there's one consolation for Steve Jobs, the computer company's brilliantly insane CEO. Investors would really, really miss him. About 30 companies have lost top execs after the discovery that they deviously fed extra profits to chosen executives by adjusting the dates of options grants. Most of them aren't missed. But Apple's Jobs, the driving force behind its iPod music player and corporate recovery, may be the Valley's one truly indispensible CEO. Which makes Apple vulnerable, as illustrated by the excerpt below, but flatters Jobs. As if the Apple founder needed further inflation of his overblown ego.

Patrick McGurn, executive vice president of Institutional Shareholder Services, says: "Apple is in a much more difficult position than other companies in the backdating morass, because a significant portion of its market valuation is based on Steve Jobs staying at his job," he said. [New York Times]