updated 03:00 am EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Will receive another 200,000 later this month
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, sold off the majority of his shares in the company on Monday and cleared $11.1 million after required withholding for tax purposes, according to a form filed with the SEC. Cook exercised options on 37,500 shares and sold 20,178 shares at an average price of just under $550, netting the $11.1 million payday (the balance of the stock was sold at $545.17 for withholding) across two days, Saturday and Monday.
Under Cook's tenure, the stock has been on a tear that has seen it rise to become the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world, with a market cap exceeding half a trillion dollars. The stock is expected to continue performing well on the back of massive demand for the new iPad and continuing strong markets for the iPhone line, along with growing demand for Mac products.
The 37,500 shares represents exactly half of a 75,000-share grant Cook received in 2010 as compensation for his time as acting CEO of the company during Steve Jobs' various medical leave (he also received $5 million in cash at the time). Cook has previously sold the first half, and cashed in the remainder on the same day it vested. Cook will receive another award of 200,000 shares that was originally granted in September of 2008 on March 24th, part of a retention award that was given to several Apple executives at the time.
The move leaves Cook with just 13,817 shares in the company until then -- and he will receive another 500,000 reserved stock units (RSUs) on his fifth-year anniversary of being Apple's CEO in 2016. The selloff comes as Apple is continuing to hit all-time highs on an almost daily basis; indeed, the stock closed Monday at $552.00, the first time the stock has ever closed above $550.
The total worth of Cook's RSU stock awards, should he be CEO of Apple for the full ten years and receive all one million RSUs, is well over half a billion dollars at current value, though that total is theoretical and assumes AAPL will be worth at least as much as it is now in 2016 and 2021. The actual worth of the bonus could be significantly higher or lower, and is as dependent on world events as Apple's own fortunes in the next decade.