Apple SVP of iOS Scott Forstall sells 95% of his current restricted shares

Scott Forstall

Scott Forstall, Apple's high-profile Senior Vice President of iOS software, has sold off $38.7 million-worth of previously-restricted Apple stock according to recent security filings. Forstall had sold off about $33 million-worth of stock in March when the restriction first lifted, and the final sale here here leaves him with 5% of the 120,000 shares he was first given in 2008. Forstall still has another 100,000 restricted stock units that will be ready to sell in 2014 and another 150,000, half of which will vest in 2013 and the other in 2016.

While it may seem odd at first glance that Forstall would sell of so much stock now, with so much more of that juicy restricted stock lying ahead, it's easy to see him enjoying this lot of cash now and still sticking with Apple for the long haul.

Just like the first wave of stock sell-offs, it wouldn't be surprising to see other Apple execs cashing in sometime soon as well. Millard Drexler, who serves on Apple's board of directors, sold off a bunch of stock too for a total of $23.7 million.

Scott Forstall came to Apple from NeXT, which also brought Steve Jobs back to the company (along with almost all the new generation of Apple executives). Because of both the growing importance of iOS to Apple, and Forstall's political acumen, he has been rumored to be in line to be Apple's CEO once Tim Cook is done. Whether or not that ends up being the case, there's no doubt that Forstall's profile within Apple has risen as stratospherically as the iPhone and iPad themselves.

So with over $70 million in newly redeemed cash on hand, that just leaves one question -- what will he spend it on? Monster yacht? Jumbo jet? One of each hypercar on the Top Gear top lap list? A Cobra Commander style underwater headquarters? What would you spend it on?

Source: SEC via Fortune

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Apple SVP of iOS Scott Forstall sells 95% of his current restricted shares

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Actually ... it is not surprising to be selling the RSUs at all. In fact, I would argue that it is stupid not to sell them.
The way that RSUs work, you pay taxes on them immediately when you receive them. This basically means that if you sell them the day you receive them, it is not a taxable event, and therefore there is no incentive to hold them. A smart investor tries to stay diversified, and since so much of your financial security is tied up in the job as well as unvested stock and RSUs, it makes sense to diversify this money and invest it elsewhere.
Stock options, on the other hand, are completely different. For one thing, they are options which can give you heavy leverage. For example, if someone at Apple has options for stock at $500 a share, and the stock moves from $600 to $650, that is less than a 10% increase in the price of the stock, but a 33% increase in the value of the options. Besides this leverage, you also don't pay taxes on options until they are exercised. This means that if you sell your shares, pay taxes, and then invest that money in other companies, the amount of money you have invested drops a lot.
I get small amounts of both stock and RSUs at my company. I always sell my RSUs immediately, but I generally hold my options and sell them just before they are about to expire.
Anyway, to make a long story short, it is not surprising to me at all that Scott Forstall is selling his RSUs. In fact, it would surprise me a lot if others are not doing the same thing!

Getting out while the gettings good? Maybe knows something about Apple's upcoming (lack) of product line that we don't.
Insanely clever.

He is preparing to buy 70 million worth of FaceBook stock. Besides, he will get so many shares back in options it won't be funny.