A pair of filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Apple executive Scott Fortsall and board member Mickey Drexler each sold off tens of thousands of shares of Apple stock on Friday, netting millions of dollars each.

forstallForstall, who serves as senior vice president of iOS Software and has been a fixture in Apple's keynote presentations and media events, sold off 64,151 shares of Apple stock on Friday, netting roughly $38.7 million. Forstall gained 120,000 shares of Apple stock last month as a 2008 retention bonus of restricted stock units converted to actual stock. 55,849 shares were immediately sold off at that time to account for the taxes due on the conversion, and Forstall held on to the remaining shares until last Friday.

Following Friday's transaction, Forstall holds 2,988 shares of Apple stock, worth roughly $1.75 million at today's share price and the same number of shares he held prior to last month's vesting of his 2008 retention bonus. Forstall is also in line to receive a number of other stock grants should he remain with the company over the next several years, including a 150,000-unit grant that will vest in equal portions next year and in 2016. A separate grant of 100,000 units will vest in 2014.

Meanwhile, longtime Apple board member Mickey Drexler, who serves as Chairman and CEO of J. Crew and was previously President and CEO of The Gap, has cashed in on stock options dating back nearly a decade in order to reap a substantial windfall.

Drexler exercised a set of 20,000 options from 2003 priced at $9.16 each and a second set of 20,000 options from 2004 priced at $14.205 each, selling off all 40,000 shares on Friday for $24.1 million. After accounting for the exercise prices on the options, Drexler netted close to $23.7 million. Drexler continues to hold 584 shares of Apple stock worth roughly $384,000 at today's share price.

Top Rated Comments

vrDrew Avatar
124 months ago

Side question: When this many shares are sold, is this when Apple use some of its cash to buy back shares in order to keep the price from dropping? So Apple coordinates with the employee to prevent the price from dipping?

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has an average daily volume of more than 24 million shares traded. Drexler and Forstall together sold about 100,000 shares, or less than half a percent of the average daily "float." Its possible - but unlikely - that this many shares might exert some downward market pressure.

For obvious reasons, executives exercising options use some discretion in timing their transactions. They want to get the best price possible (consistent with their obligations under Securities law) so they typically schedule their options exercises so as not to coincide with significant company announcements.

Final note: Board Member Mickey Drexler exercised options issued in 2003 and 2004, with prices of $9.16 and $14 per share. Apple will be able to deduct from its US corporate taxes the difference between the option price and the sales price. Obviously an additional 40,000 shares publicly traded will have a certain dilution effect, but one certainly wonders if this is a great as the benefit the company will reap from a $23 million non-cash tax deduction. On the other hand, the US Treasury will benefit from the personal income taxes Forstall and Drexler will pay on their sale, which will likely be at the long-term capital gains rate of 15% - or considerably less than a Taco Bell manager would pay on a $5,000 bonus on top of his $55,000 annual salary. Something ain't right with the US tax code.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
firewood Avatar
124 months ago
greed
So I suppose if your employer gave you this big a bonus, you would give it all to charity? Did you give 99% of your income to charity last year as well? Good for you!

Pro tip: ... ain't using his $38 million to create jobs. I can guarantee you that.
Really? That's what they said about all the millionaire's buying yachts a few years back. So they taxed them big. The next year, thousands of blue collar boat builders in the U.S. lost their jobs... jobs that you say nobody is creating.

Rumor is that there are thousands of out-of-work construction workers, interior decorators, and etc. just waiting for a mini building boom after the post facebook IPO waiting period.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rocketman Avatar
124 months ago
55,849 / 120,000 = 46.5% paid in taxes.

"Restricted stock and RSUs are taxed differently than other kinds of stock options, such as statutory or nonstatutory employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs). Those plans generally have tax consequences at the date of exercise or sale, whereas restricted stock usually becomes taxable upon the completion of the vesting schedule. Restricted stock plans are not eligible for capital gains treatment, and the entire amount of the vested stock must be counted as ordinary income in the year of vesting."

Do your homework before you claim "greed", and how his "effective tax rate is so low".

Even if it *had* only been 15% he would have paid more in taxes *in one year* than you will probably make in your lifetime.
I was going to post about that too. It looks like it is taxed as ordinary income, not long term capital gains. That's some bad tax planning. He probably should have put it in his IRA/WBP over the years to at least defer the taxes.

So Apple was taxed on it, gave it to Scott, then he was taxed on it again. When the government gets 25/42 that means the owners only get .75x.68 or 51% . It is bad social policy to give the government 50% of the fruits of people's labor. It destroys capital that would otherwise go into expanding jobs either with direct investment or through savings which banks leverage into business loans and mortgage loans of benefit to real people in their real lives.

Rocketman
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
econgeek Avatar
124 months ago
The reason for selling, and for selling all of what just vested, is because they need to diversify. All their net worth (and their employer) is Apple.

If you have 400,000 shares still vesting, no reason not to sell the 100,000 that just vested-- you still have 400,000.

As for what apple's going to do-- I expect it will go down. It might visit $550, or $500, or maybe $450. But that's the short term.

If you're an investor, you should be more concerned about what apple will be like in a year or three.... and in three years I expect Apple will be over $2,200 a share.

No Joke.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applefanDrew Avatar
124 months ago
I wonder what it's like to go home, in one day, with $38.1 million. I'll never know…
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kenfused Avatar
124 months ago
They are required to date transactions months in advance or longer, so they cannot be accused of insider trading or dumping the stock before bad news. This is common practice.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
whatsintheboxiphonexs

Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Won't Ship With Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Wednesday September 12, 2018 12:58 pm PDT by
Since the headphone jack was removed from the iPhone with the launch of the iPhone 7, Apple has bundled iPhones with a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter for customers who continue to have 3.5mm headphones. With the launch of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, Apple is discontinuing this practice and will not include the Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. On the...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....