December 12, 2019

Bits Blog: Apple Doles Out Stock to Keep Top Executives

One of the biggest questions about Apple’s future has been whether its top executives would head for the exits after the death of the company’s chief executive and cofounder Steve Jobs. Apple just gave them a big incentive to stay put.

In a series of filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday evening, Apple disclosed a series of huge stock grants to nearly all of the company’s senior executives. Peter Oppenheimer, Bruce Sewell, Philip Schiller, Jeffrey Williams, Scott Forstall and Robert Mansfield all received 150,000 restricted stock units from Apple — worth approximately $60 million each at Apple’s current stock price.

Each of those executive need to stay at Apple for nearly five years to collect the full amount of the grants. Half of the shares in their stock grants vest on June 21, 2013, while the second half vest on March 21, 2016.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president for Internet software and services, received 100,000 restricted stock units, worth about $40 million at Apple’s current share price and subject to a slightly different vesting schedule. Mr. Cue, though, received an earlier 100,000 share grant in early September when Apple promoted him.

“Our executive team is incredibly talented and they’re all dedicated to Apple’s continued success,” Apple said. “These stock grants are meant to reward them down the road for their hard work in helping to keep Apple the most innovative company in the world.”

There were only two people from Apple’s senior leadership team for whom Apple did not disclose stock grants on Friday. One is Jonathan Ive, the company’s senior vice president for industrial design, whose position at the company does not trigger S.E.C. rules requiring public disclosure of stock awards.

The other person is chief executive Timothy D. Cook, who received an even bigger stock award in late August after agreeing to take over the top job at Apple from Mr. Jobs. That one million share grant to Mr. Cook is currently worth about $400 million. To collect half of that grant, Mr. Cook needs to stay at Apple until August 24, 2016, and, to get the full amount, he must stay until the same date in 2021.

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