Apple awards senior execs $60 million each

Locks in leadership with stock grants that vest in 2013 and 2016

Apple last week awarded six senior executives $60 million each in stock contingent on them staying with the company through mid-March 2016.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last Friday, Apple said it had granted 150,000 restricted stock units to each executive. At the close of trading Friday, the options were worth just over $60 million.

With Apple shares down slightly on Monday, the options were equivalent to about $59.8 million as of 2 p.m. ET.

Restricted share units are not given at the time of the grant, but instead are awarded when they vest. The shares will be worth their then-current price, which could, of course, be dramatically different than their value Monday.

Half of the shares vest in June 2013 and half in March 2016, assuming the executives remain with Apple.

Those awarded the grants included chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer, general counsel Bruce Sewell and senior vice presidents Scott Forstall, Philip Schiller, Bob Mansfield and Jeffrey Williams.

Forstall heads Apple's iPhone software group, Schiller is Apple's chief marketing officer, Mansfield leads the company's hardware engineering efforts, and Williams is the head of operations, responsible for the work once done by now-CEO Tim Cook.

Eddie Cue, another senior vice president who oversees all online work at Apple -- including the App Store and iCloud -- was awarded 100,000 restricted stock units that vest in September 2014 and September 2016.

In September 2011, Cue was given a grant of 100,000 shares when he was promoted to senior vice president.

CEO Tim Cook already has his stock options: In August, after he took the CEO position when co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down, the Apple board of directors awarded Cook one million shares that vest in August 2015 and August 2021.

Cook's grant is worth approximately $399 million at Monday's stock price.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

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