This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, July 24, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Congress comes to a compromise on corporate corruption, but the bill does not require companies to expense their options. In a bold and first of its kind move, Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos decided to expense the options his employees receive. And he's paid a price. But my next guest is no fan of this practice. T.J. Rodgers is the president and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor. T.J., good to have you back.
CAVUTO: You don't believe in expensing options. Why not?
RODGERS: Well, I live in Silicon Valley. They have got Intel, Cisco on each side of us. Silicon Valley works great. It was built on options. Why are we trying to screw that up?
CAVUTO: Still, I know you have to pay a lot of your guys in option rather than cash, and you got a lot of options out there. For an investor, the argument is that it makes it screwy to understand how are you doing.
RODGERS: I do not think investors say that at all, because I do not think it obviously doesn't makes sense. When I give out an option, I give out a share, the shares go up, my earnings per share go down. What is hard about that? It's the denominator in earnings per share. It's totally transparent. It does not need any help.
CAVUTO: What do you think of Jeff Bezos going the way of expensing them, and he hands out a lot more than you do?
RODGERS: Well, he is probably reporting pro forma, which means he probably excludes his option expenses from his pro forma earnings anyway. So, it would be something...
CAVUTO: That's right. He does. You're absolutely right.
RODGERS: OK. So, you know, him and Coca-Cola and Warren Buffett, they are all heroes because it really does not matter to them. Either they do not give out options or they report pro forma. So it is a nice grandstand play. But I am trying to build a company in Silicon Valley. And what I'm doing, I think, is more important than trying to gain a few points in the public image...
CAVUTO: Well, it seems to be a moot point, T.J. I mean, as you know, the package that ultimately came out of Congress that will likely be signed into law by the president by the end of the week won't have it in there. Now, some critics say that is bad because corporate accountability is still a question mark. What say you?
RODGERS: Well, it is not in there because it doesn't make sense and it has been defeated now about five times. So maybe, maybe good logic has prevailed yet one more time. To say that stock options hurt corporate accountability is ridiculous. I am a shareholder, and I need to make our shareholders better off and make myself better off. That is the linkage that makes us accountable, not the one that causes us not to be accountable.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you about the market rally we had today. A lot of it built on just these executives being handcuffed away. Can that last?
RODGERS: I think right now, the market is really scared. I think the fluctuations you see on a daily basis have to do with people reacting to the latest rumor. And I don't think the market is going to recover until Americans regain trust in the integrity of the reporting of the companies. And I think that is basically going to take a couple of quarters where we don't have any Enron-type news stories breaking and everybody says OK, it is time to get back into the market.
CAVUTO: T.J. Rodgers, always a pleasure, sir. Appreciate it.
RODGERS: Thank you.
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