Golden handcuffs all around
Fruity cargo cult Apple is so worred that its senior members will disappear after Steve Jobs has left the planet that it is bribing them with huge amounts of dosh. The outfit claims that the one million shares of stock in all to seven key senior vice presidents is a thank-you for helping the outfit past $100 billion in revenue for the first time in the company’s history.
But the funny thing is that if it was a thank-you it will be a long time before any of them collects. Eddy Cue, Scott Forstall, Bob Mansfield, Peter Oppenheimer, Phil Schiller, Bruce Sewell and Jeff Williams all collected stocks. Cue got 100,000 shares of restricted stock units (RSU) and the other six Senior Vice Presidents got 150,000.
But the status of these shares effectively keeps the seven executives locked in as Apple employees until 2016. A restricted stock unit cannot be traded freely until an exercise date has been reached. In the case of these bonuses, half of the awarded shares reach their exercise dates in 2013 and the rest in 2016, effectively locking the SVPs into their Apple work until that date.
We are not talking about small potatoes here the 150,000 shares of Apple stock given to each of the six SVPs is worth $60 million and Cue’s 100,000 is worth $40 million. If any of them leave they lose their shares.
CEO Tim Cook is locked into a similar sort of arrangement. He received one million RSU shares when he was appointed to the top position earlier this year, with one chunk vesting in 2016 and the rest in 2021, provided he’s still with the company.
It seems that the board was worried that now Jobs has gone, the Vice Presidents will either think it is safe to come out of their offices without being shouted and flee the building. There is also a fear that if they all go the world will think Apple is screwed without Jobs.