Three Apple executives sold millions of dollars in Apple shares after restricted stock units awarded in 2008 vested. The three executives were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, and marketing chief Phil Schiller. The sales were disclosed in mandatory SEC filings.
- Tim Cook sold 106,640 shares at an average price of $600.79/share, after having 93,360 shares withheld for tax purposes. He netted $64 million.
- Peter Oppenheimer sold 80,147 shares at an average price of just under $599/share, after having 69,853 shares withheld for tax purposes. He netted just under $48 million.
- Phil Schiller sold 64,151 shares at an average price of $602.66/share, after having 55,849 shares withheld for tax purposes. He netted $38.66 million.
A restricted stock unit, or RSU, is a form of compensation valued in terms of company stock, but the stock is not issued at the time of the grant. Instead, it's meant as an enticement for senior management to stay with the company. The shares in question were originally awarded in September of 2008, likely as part of an annual bonus. When they vested on March 24 of this year, each RSU was converted to a single share of AAPL stock.
The executives used a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan to manage the sales of the shares. The regulation allows executives with insider knowledge of the company to control the purchase or sale of stock ahead of time so as to avoid any accusation of insider trading.