updated 08:53 pm EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Still has plenty, likely hoping to avoid cap-gains increase
As reported previously, a possible reason for the number of Apple executives cashing out some portion of their holdings in the company -- despite the fact that the stock has only just begun a recovery from a six-month low in price -- may be to avoid the strong possibility that taxes on capital gains are likely to go up in January. Newly-minted Senior VP of Technologies Bob Mansfield, the former head of hardware, has joined the club -- cashing in 35,000 shares to reap a pre-tax windfall of $20.3 million.
Should Congress fail to find a deal that would graduate the increase in capital-gains taxes by the end of the year, rates on sales like Mansfield's will jump from the current historic low of 15 percent currently to 20 percent, and for especially high earners like Mansfield a rate of 23.8 percent. Whether the Bush-era rate expires or is renegotiated as part of a deal with Congress, there is very likely to be an increase of some sort come January, and many high-income earners are taking advantage of that likelihood to cash out some of their holdings.
Mansfield, who had retired as head of hardware engineering for Apple in June, but was lured back to the company (perhaps by the probability that former iOS chief Scott Forstall would soon be let go), sold his shares at an average price of slightly more than $582 per share, more than $130 per share greater than an earlier sale of stock in March of this year and more than $230 per share higher than his 2011 sale of about the same amount of stock.
According to the SEC filing of the transaction, Mansfield has nearly 30,000 shares still left, and is due to receive another 150,000 share options this June (and again in March of 2016 if he is still with the company then). Mansfield has now been appointed head of a group working under the banner of "Technologies," speculated to be leading a change from Intel-based processors to fully in-house designed chips, but his actual responsibilities and his group's tasks are not actually known. Most likely, Apple is using Mansfield's experience to evaluate the commercial worth of various research projects and shepherd promising innovations forward.