updated 12:09 pm EDT, Fri June 6, 2014
New retail head in job for just one month
(Updated; stock withheld for tax reasons, not sold) Apple's new head of retail, ex-Burberry CEO Dame Angela Ahrendts, has already divested herself of almost half of the first round of company shares she was granted, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. According to the documentation, 16,264 shares given to her by the company vested on June 1. On the very same day, some 8,331 shares, worth about $5,273,523 before tax, were withdrawn, indicating a sale.
The cash out is unexpected, in that Ahrendts has only been working with Apple for about a month. She still has a fair amount of stock that will only vest over the course of several years, however; Ahrendts' total holdings are worth about $78.5 million using current stock prices.
The timing may be not be coincidental, since Apple's planned 7-to-1 stock split will take place at the close of Friday trading. Although it shouldn't disrupt the value of Apple shares too severely, Ahrendts may be hoping to dodge any unexpected market volatility caused by an influx of smaller investors and/or more nimble trading.
Update: Computerworld now notes that the 8,331 shares disappeared because Apple withheld them for tax purposes, not because they were sold. "Shares withheld by Registrant [Apple] to satisfy the minimum statutory tax withholding requirements on vesting of restricted stock units," the SEC filing says.