updated 08:25 pm EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
New retail chief's stock would be worth $68 million at today's closing price
As is customary with incoming senior executives at Apple, the company has awarded incoming SVP of Retail Dame Angela Ahrendts some 113,334 shares in the company, according to an SEC filing. The shares would be worth some $68 million at today's price, but Ahrendts will only receive the all of the restricted stock units (RSUs) if she stays with the company through 2018. If the plan is structured similarly to past deals, Ahrendts will get the first half of the stock in two years' time.
In the meantime, of course, the stock price could go up or down, depending on the performance of the company, the stock market at the US economy at the time. Her predecessor, John Browett, also received 100,000 shares in RSUs when he joined the company -- but he did not last in the position long enough for any of the shares to vest, meaning he collected no money from them. At the time, they would have been worth about $61 million.
Apple has similar arrangements for most of its senior executives, including CEO Tim Cook. He was originally given a million shares in AAPL in the form of RSUs, which were originally split into two awards, with have vesting in 2016 (his fifth anniversary of being CEO) and the other half in 2021 (the tenth anniversary). In 2013, Cook asked the board to rework the planned distribution to more closely tie the shares to company performance.
Under the revised plan, Cook receives about 80,000 shares ever year and 100,000 on the fifth and tenth anniversaries of his promotion to CEO, but he only receives 100 percent of each annual award if the company is in the top third of S&P 500 companies in terms of total shareholder return. If Apple is in the middle third, Cook will get half of his annual shares vested, and if it is in the bottom third he will get none of the RSU shares. This means that Cook could conceivably forfeit some shares if the company does poorly -- and this is on top of the caveat that Cook forfeits his remaining awards if he is fired or leaves the company within the next eight years.
Ahrendts, the former CEO of British fashion house Burberry, formally joined Apple as the new head of retail last week. The new role was created specifically for her, combining both the online Apple storefront as well as the physical retail stores under a single leader for the first time. Cook and other Apple executives, such as SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller and former CFO Peter Oppenheimer, have been handling retail operations since Browett was forced out in late 2012.