John Browett, Apple's retail vice president, has received the first vestment from his signing bonus of 100,000 restricted stock units (RSUs) according to a filing with the SEC. He was granted the first batch of 5,000 shares today with 2,159 shares being sold for tax withholding purposes.
Unlike options, restricted stock units do not require the recipient to purchase stock at an exercise price in order to receive the shares. The RSUs simply convert to actual shares on the vesting dates, although there are tax implications to the conversion that generally result in recipients immediately selling off at least some portion of their grants as they vest.
After withholding, Browett owns 2,841 shares of AAPL stock worth $1.74 million at current prices. He is due 95,000 more shares of stock worth some $58 million over the next 5 years, assuming continued employment.
The stock grants are bound to be controversial given the perceived missteps that Browett has made with Apple retail recently, with rumors of hour cutbacks and layoffs as well as an ongoing shift in Apple's retail store strategy to focus on profits rather than customer service.