Apple just declared a cash dividend of $2.65 a share, payable in mid-February.That’s a nice bonus for shareholders. But employees are getting a reward out of it, too.
Apple has recently been handing out restricted stock units—a form of equity that vests over time like stock options, but gives workers shares outright rather than giving them the right to buy shares at a set price. Last May, it adopted a new plan to pay employees the equivalent of a dividend whenever it paid shareholders a dividend.
According to Apple’s most recent annual report, it has 15 million RSUs outstanding. At $2.65 a share, that works out to $40 million.
CEO Tim Cook asked Apple’s board not to change the terms of his RSUs, so he’s not receiving any of this bonus. Assuming Apple keeps its dividend at $2.65 per share a quarter, that’s $75 million Cook will pass up. Other executives are getting the dividend-equivalent bonus.