Photo: Dixons Retail
When former Dixons retail executive John Browett signed on with Apple in April, he got a big potential payday: 100,000 shares of Apple in the form of restricted stock units, or RSUs, vesting over five years.At current prices, that package was worth more than $60 million.
Now that he’s left the company, following a botched plan to cut staffing at Apple’s retail stores, he’s giving up all but $3 million of that.
Like stock options, RSUs vest over time. Unlike stock options, there’s no exercise price: You own the shares outright once they vest.
When he signed on, Apple agreed to give Browett the first tranche—5,000 shares—on his six-month anniversary. That was October 20.
On October 23, Browett got his shares, worth $3 million. Apple withheld 2,159 shares for payment of taxes—RSUs, unlike options, are taxed as ordinary income. That left Browett with $1.7 million in shares.
Not a bad payday for six not-very-successful months, but it pales compared to the fortune that Apple executives have made over the past few years as Apple’s stock has gone on an iPhone-fuelled tear.
If Apple offered Browett any other compensation, like acceleration of vesting, that hasn’t shown up in its filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission. But given that his departure has been widely described as a firing, it’s most likely that Apple paid Browett exactly what he was owed and no more.
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