Apple locks up top execs until 2019 with $27 million golden handcuffs

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Photo: H. Michael Karshis/Flickr CC
The only handcuffs that presumably come with a free Apple Watch and iPhone 6 thrown in. Photo: H. Michael Karshis/Flickr CC

Apple will be holding on to its top executives until at least 2019, if the granting of new stock options by the Apple board has anything to do with it.

Angela Ahrendts, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, CFO Luca Maestri, VP of hardware engineering Daniel Riccio, lawyer Bruce Sewell and COO Jeffrey Williams all received stock grants potentially valued at a total of $27 million, based on the high closing price of AAPL stock Thursday.

The grants are divided into two parts. The first represent 122,863 shares that vest over a three-year period, starting in April 2017. These will only be awarded if each of the executives is still with Apple at the time. The second part totals another 68,576 shares and will vest in October 2017. Each of the eight Apple executives were awarded exactly the same amount.

The goal of the first, larger number is to ensure that all the employees mentioned will be with Apple until at least April 1, 2019. The second figure can be cashed in earlier, but is also tied to Apple’s performance.

While that may be a done deal at a time when Apple is conquering the world, it has cost Apple executives before. In 2013, Tim Cook forfeited more than 7,100 pre-split shares (close to 50,000 today) because Apple missed certain targets, essentially losing out on $5.2 million.

Still, at present, it seems like Apple’s the company that can do no wrong in the eyes of shareholders — with the stock price climbing 6 percent since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus introduction, up 32 percent overall this year.

Let’s just hope the rank-and-file employees lower on the food chain are also getting some generous Christmas bonuses!

Source: Computerworld