updated 01:45 pm EST, Wed March 7, 2007
How Jobs lost $2.7b
Apple CEO Steve Jobs left as much as $2.7 billion on the table by trading his options grants earlier this decade. Fortune Magazine reports that Jobs accepted a colossal stock option grant in 2000 that the publication calculated to be worth $872 million at the time, but the executive considered the stock "penniless" and eventually traded it in along with another large options grant for a sizable sum of restricted shares. Those restricted shares today are said to be worth around $848 million, but the stock options Jobs gave up to acquire his current shares would today total more than $3.6 billion. Interestingly, Fortune published a cover story in 2001 following Jobs first massive grant that spurred a response from Cupertino's headquarters. In a letter to Fortune's editor Jobs offered to sell his stock options to the magazine for "half" of what it claimed they were worth, or $436 million, saying that the stock was actually "worth zero." Fortune declined the offer due to insufficient capital, but now says "we should have hocked the office furniture, broken our kids' piggy banks, and taken the deal."