New Apple policy requires top execs to hold onto stock

Apple's got a new policy that aims to keep executives from selling off stock and tie their own performance with that of the company.

Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus. James Martin/CNET

Apple this month quietly implemented a new rule that requires its top executives and board members to hold onto company stock, worth various multiples of what their salary pays.

The new requirement, which was detailed on Apple's Web site (PDF) and reported by The Wall Street Journal, aims to keep executives from selling off stock and tie their own performance with that of the company. It comes just a day after shareholders shot down a policy that would require company executives to hold onto at least 33 percent of their stock until reaching the age of retirement.

The policy requires executive officers to hold three times their annual base salary, while non-employee directors need to hold five times their annual retainer. Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook is required to hold 10 times his annual base salary as part of the guidelines.

Despite those rules, Apple notes that they "may be waived or amended" by the company's board of directors "from time to time."

The guidelines come as Apple's stock is down more than 36 percent since reaching a high of more than $700 in September. The stock closed at $441.40, down $3.17 or 0.71 percent from its opening today. At the company's annual shareholders meeting yesterday, Cook attempted to assuage fears of the drop , saying that investors should focus instead on the company's long-term performance.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.


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