Apple exec Scott Forstall sells off 95 percent of his shares

The senior vice president of iOS software nets $38.7 million in the sale, leaving him with only 2,988 shares of Apple stock on hand -- for now.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
2 min read
Apple senior vice president for iOS Software, Scott Forstall.
Scott Forstall Apple

Apple senior vice president of iOS software, Scott Forstall, had an awfully nice payday on Friday.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that has popped up on Apple's Web site, the executive sold off over 64,000 company shares, netting him more than $38.7 million. The sale wiped out 95 percent of his Apple stock, leaving him only 2,988 shares. But that isn't so bad: even at today's $584.40 share price, the holdings are worth over $1.7 million.

Although a major sell-off can sometimes mean an executive is leaving a company, that might not be the case with Forstall. As Fortune, which was first to report on the news, points out, Forstall still has 100,000 restricted stock units granted in 2010 that should be fully vested in 2014. Last year, Apple handed over 150,000 restricted stock units, with half of them vesting in 2013 and the other half in 2016. In other words, if Forstall is looking for a cash windfall, sticking with Apple might be a good idea.

Forstall is a graduate of Stanford and played a key role in developing core technologies at Steve Jobs' startup Next. After joining Apple in 1997, Forstall handled the development of Mac OS X before jumping to iOS. Over the last couple of years, there have been rumors that Forstall might eventually become Apple CEO.

Back in January, Adam Lashinsky, author of "Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired -- and Secretive -- Company Really Works," revealed in an interview with Fortune that Forstall has made it abundantly clear inside Cupertino that he would like to eventually be Apple's chief executive, adding that "he wears his ambition in plainer view than the typical Apple executive."

If that happens, it appears Forstall will already be a rich individual.