An Apple CEO-in-waiting, Scott Forstall, sells 95% of his company shares

“Scott Forstall took home a chunk of change Friday,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Taking advantage of Apple’s (AAPL) relatively high (but not record) share price, the company’s senior vice president for iOS software — someone often mentioned as possible successor to Steve Jobs and Tim Cook — sold 64,151 shares at prices ranging from $601 to $605 to clear $38.7 million in one day,” P.E.D. reports. “The shares were the remains of a 120,000-share retention bonus that was granted in 2008, vested last month and reduced by 55,849 shares on March 24 to pay taxes. Forstall still holds 2,988 Apple shares worth, at Friday’s closing price, $1.8 million.”

P.E.D. reports, “Although the sale represented 95% of Forstall’s current Apple holdings, that doesn’t mean he’s getting ready to leave the company. He has two more retention bonuses in the wings…. Fostall could be looking at a windfall worth at least a quarter of a billion dollars.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. And I suppose that Obama passed this by decree?
      In an election year?

      According to a recent poll, Americans in general are in agreement now that wealth is not taxed at a sufficient level to be even moderately fair to all involved.

      1. 50% of the people do not pay taxes…
        Read the IRS data.
        (federal anyway)

        Regardless of his reasons, which probably had zero political reason to it… He made a ton of money.

        1. I doubt your numbers. Even for those who do not pay INCOME TAX, they’re still paying a huge amount of whatever money they have in sales tax, and if they’re employed, they’re paying SS, medicare tax, and more. If they have a car, they’re paying gasoline taxes. So, no one is getting around not paying taxes. While I’ve never thought it was right to have a “progressive tax,” it’s also not right that people and corporations who benefit greatly from what the government provides (roads, military, police, courts, other transportation infrastructure, etc.) and would have nothing without government protecting their assets, not pay a proportionate share for those benefits. Nothing is free, and nothing should be free for these billionaires who live off the middle classes’ efforts, have an excessive influence in government policy, and especially for the many in the financial “industry” that wrecked the economy.

          1. here are the numbers from 2009 and earlier.


            Note that bottom 50% number keeps dropping?…
            Top 10% pay 70% of the tax burden.

            I love how liberals refuse to do any research themselves, they want everything handed to them. Doesn’t matter what it is… They believe what the left leaders tell them, and refuse to independently verify anything.

            1. the top 10% earn 70% of the income. why shouldn’t they pay more than the bottom 90% who have to fight for the other 30% of the pie?

            2. @fucktherick

              Typical ignorance. You want a handout.

              Why not aspire to BE one of the top 10%?
              Only YOU are holding yourself back… Can’t blame someone else by limits YOU place on yourself.

            3. @ FTB regarding aspiring to BE one of the top 10%: Only ten percent of the people can ever be in the the top 10%. Those who are there will not leave without a fight to the death. It takes money to make money – first by spending money on a decent university education so you can learn a decent profession where you have a chance to aspire. Then once you’ve got your job that the education gave you, you’ve got to spend money on advisors and mentors to provide you with the tools for advancement within your chosen profession. At a certain level, you have to spend money on status symbols like Bentleys and exclusive country clubs. Then you have to learn to play golf and that costs money. If don’t play golf, you’re dead. Then you have to buy a McMansion somewhere in Palo Alto or Woodside so you can invite your bosses and your clients’ bosses over for dinner provided by your in-house chef (also expensive).

              Sure, Zuckerman managed to take a shortcut but he still had to finance his education. If you can’t afford an education, even working 20 hours a day at entry-level jobs, you’ll never be able to attain your aspirations.

              What’s your plan for everyone to get into the ten percent bracket?

            4. @jackson

              There is NO set number of people in the “10%”

              You can make as much money as you want, you can enter that bracket if YOU want.

              Your response proved that you are holding yourself back… You are the one making excuses as to why you cant be there.

              My parents went from poor, to multi millionaires… By themselves. How? Desire and hard work.

              My mom was fired from her employer because she had to take time off during the day to take care of me, I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and then needed home monitoring for another 6 weeks when I was 12. (I damn near had my foot amputated when I shattered my foot, I had to have an IV into my heart because of the bone infection. I couldn’t be around kids at school either)

              So what did she do? She went into business with 2 other co-workers that were tired of the boss.
              7 years later the former company went bankrupt from the loss of customers, my moms business targeted and acquired 90% of them.

              She sold the business and “retired”.
              Only to buy a Yamaha dealership a year later.
              We took it from a mid-bottom rung dealer, to the top 5 in the district.
              How? Cause it was something we loved, riding bikes on/off road was a passion.

              Oh btw, neither of them went to college either.
              And we HATE golf…

              See, you toss out excuse after excuse for yourself.

              I have little college education myself, but I’m middle management right now. If I wanted to move… Which I really dont, I could move to the district office and be a heck of a lot higher up. Already been offered that job.. Another $15k a year to start, but I’d have to move. And I’d get the job over others that have degrees etc.
              How? Cause I’m good at my job.. I have had the worst scenarios thrown at me and I find the solution and get the shit done.

              The guy that got the job I was offered, can’t hack it. He has the paper he needs, but not the experience.

              You want to get up there in the 10%? Get after it, only yourself to blame for not getting there.

              As I said, there is NO set number of people in that 10%, it’s a tax bracket… Not a club with a restricted membership number. It’s a mind set, and it’s obvious you don’t have it.

            5. @FTB You are right that there is no set number of people who can join the ten percent club; however, give a population of, say, 500 million, 450 million can not become members. Only 50 million are “allowed in” until the total population expands.

              And where did I say that I was holding myself back? I was stating the facts about making money. I made money by buying cheap real estate in the 70s, fixing things up, selling at great prices, repeating for 20 years. Now I’m up there but I had to scrape and save to get the dough for the first down payment, to be able to buy the tools to do the fixing up, have no social life until I was 35, etc. I’ll bet your mom, bless her soul (no sarc intended), had to have some scratch to go into business with her two co-workers.

              And by the way, I totally admire the sacrifices you mom had to deal with as well as your own success story.

              Around my home new houses are being built one at a time. I’ve gotten to know many of the contractors and builders, and these people are truly working their butts off trying to keep busy during these down times of home construction. In the winter a few come knocking on doors asking if we need our driveways cleared of snow or help doing other things. They are not lazy and not stupid. They are hard-working and intelligent individuals who are craftsmen who love their work. It’s just not enough to make ends meet all the time.

            6. @Jackson

              that 10% fluctuates though.
              people drop in and out of that 10% all the time… same as with the bottom brackets.

              And it’s the top % of wage earners, NOT 10% of the population.
              we have like 360 million people in the US. 200-250 million working… (under age, retired etc do not count, and even this number fluctuates)

              And with tax brackets, being in the top 10% could also (depending on how far you are in the top 10%) make you earn less than if you were not in the top 10..

              I was saying you were holding yourself back from your comments about “It takes money to make money” and you go on about all the things you have to do like buying a Bentley… the top Schools, the McMansion.. The Golf..

              It was sounding more like you were tossing out roadblocks and excuses.

              Side note: ever notice how lottery winners end up broke in a few years? they don’t learn the value of money… they didn’t earn it, and they don’t learn to manage it. Ever notice how those that earn a ton of money, even if they lose everything, never go broke… they always find a way to pull themselves back up.

              Socialism, tax the rich and give to the poor… is very similar to lottery winners.
              Flat/Fair tax i’d go for. (as long as they dump the current monstrosity we have now..)

              Oh and no, my parents were only able to survive with the first business cause they had everything as collateral for the loan to start, and a HUGE account to start. Thats 99% of the reason they started it, the account hated the company and wanted to leave…
              her other two partners were able to put up the money with no problems, my parents were almost forced to back out..
              My mom worked her business, and worked part time at night for 8 months.. My dad worked construction 10+ hours a day (4 day week) and worked the other 3 for a different company.. Mom gone before I woke up for school, Dad woke me up as he left.. About the only time i’d see him for months.
              Was a rough first year. after that, they skyrocketed.

              I see so many people making the money, but managing it poorly.. and they get mad at the wrong people for their situations.

              Anyway, we are close enough to being on the same page really.. not worth arguing over.
              I’m enjoying my day off.. I wouldn’t even be reading much of the posts here, except it’s pouring rain outside.. And I melt in rain.
              Flipping houses is hard work, hate those that bash people that flip a house after putting endless hours into fixing it up.

            7. @FTB: Nice response!

              I see so many people making the money, but managing it poorly.. and they get mad at the wrong people for their situations.
              You nailed it. I also liked your point about lottery winners and their poor money management.

              Anyway, we are close enough to being on the same page really.. not worth arguing over.
              The more people actually listen to each other’s point of view as they chat (as opposed to argue), the closer the the point comes to congruency. I forget what the math term is on that. 🙂

              One last thought: I wasn’t a full-time house-flipper – I worked for the phone company full time, did the houses evenings and weekends. Plus, I never bought something that was a total wreck. After all, I had to live there!


        2. Anyone can take a statistic out of context:

          Look a little closer. Not only is it estimated that only about 10% pay no net federal taxes, but the very ones pushing this idea are wealthy radio broadcasters themselves.

          That article concludes:

          “So why are those radio and television talk show hosts spending so much time arguing that today’s wealthy are unfairly burdened? Well, it’s hard not to notice that the talk show hosts themselves tend to be among the very wealthy.

          No doubt, like the rest of us, they don’t particularly enjoy paying taxes. They are happy with the tax cuts they have received lately. They would prefer if other people had to pick up the bill for Medicare, Social Security and the military — people like, say, firefighters, preschool teachers, computer support specialists, farmers, members of the clergy, mail carriers, secretaries and truck drivers. “

          1. its funny how we are talking income taxes, and you point out in the article federal taxes on Medicare etc as proof I’m wrong…

            Check the article again, they agreed about the no income taxes paid…. They had to adjust the article and add other taxes to fit the story.

            But it’s the nytimes.. That’s typical.

      2. “Fair” is a word that was discussed from the days before the founding of the U.S.

        One time, the founders thought a person had to have a “stake” in his community, meaning he had to have states literally around the corners of the property he owned to prove he had an interest in the community to deserve to vote on how it was governed.

        Now, people only need to be citizens and need not work for a good portion of their life, if they present themselves as single parents. Jamestown had to change from a socialist concept to a free market to survive.

        About half the US adults do not pay any Federal income tax, meaning they don’t pay much attention to what the US Gov’t does and that means those people don’t see a connection with the US Govt. in many ways.

        Fair is having an interest in, knowledge of and active reasoned vote in the society we live in. Giving some people other people’s money when siphoned through the Government is not FAIR.

        1. A huge portion of those who do not pay income taxes live in poverty or near poverty. As they say, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.
          The ultra wealthy should be paying the same percentage as the middle class (25-30%). That would be fair.
          We need a military, roads, bridges, etc. The money has to come from somewhere (and certainly not from people who are barely surviving).

          1. Not to mention… the REAL number is likely closer to 10%. Anyone can take a statistic out of context. And the ones who have had the biggest tax cuts are the chief promoters of them. It’s merely deflection from the real issues of inequality in the USA.

            1. ApplePi: All men are created equal, what they do once they’re created is entirely up to them. They can choose to remain unlearned, do drugs, sit in jail, father illegitimate children and generally drain the country’s resources, OR they can choose to be hard-working and honest, traits the country’s founders actually considered to be valuable.

        1. Taxes are *not* stealing. Therefore, I assume that you have no point other than you would like to pay no taxes for the services that you receive? Not much of a point…

          How can fiscal “conservatives” consider taxes evil, yet push for ever greater spending on the military. Apparently that does not count as “growing” government despite the fact that military personnel are government employees. The hypocrisy is stifling.

          I believe that we need to *fully pay* for the services that we receive. Part of that process is to cut spending. But that will not solve the entire problem because the tax system is still screwed up from the last administration. Balance the budget, idiots! (and that applies to both parties, because both are culpable for the current mess)

          1. read the constitution someday.

            Protecting the country, job of the government as described in the constitution.

            Providing support for it’s citizens via handouts? NOT in the constitution.

            the “Services” we receive… half of them are not needed, nor wanted. (Let the people opt out if they choose…)
            Growing the military IS a constitutional requirement, growing the governments role in its citizens day to day life… is not.

            and you might want to read a little on the actual spending..

    2. Apple will do great. The current WDC Admin doesn’t appreciate why market forces work best.

      The economic powers of the world have relied on matching buyers with sellers in a mostly free market based system for 10,000 years.

      Trying to alter that by throwing money at unproven products and at the people who exchange currency is an indication they don’t have a clue…other than what the lobbyists for those companies say. Sick.

      I am glad Apple can show the way in as an example of a consumer demand success showing how market economics is beneficial to societies.

  1. Title is misleading. Scott sold 95% of his AAPL holdings from 2008 grant. Out of his total stock grants he sold less than 20%. It’s important to keep this in perspective.

  2. It is ridiculous that the media dragged Forstall to all those “successor” talks when it was obvious from very beginning that Cook will be the successor, and it was confirmed that Jobs and the board expected him to be CEO for no less than ten years. Too early to mention Forstall.

  3. I might have missed the news but why did he have to sell so many shares to pay for taxes? was he behind on his taxes?
    also im not an expert in brokerage but could selling so many shares in a shot by a person affect the way the share value is conceived? I would think if ambulance chasers were watching the market and saw so much $ worth being sold… it could make more people sell in case of a share-slide.. ?

    1. IRS regulations. Restricted Stock Units require taxes be paid on the value of the shares as soon as they vest. Apple would have handled that part of it. He’s still liable for gains on those shares from the vest date forward.

  4. You would do the same thing, reap your rewards, diversify your holdings, live the good life, get the big house, world travel, the best education for your kids. That’s what I’m doing with AAPL shares bought a decade ago.

  5. MDN and its readers are so dense. If Forstall sold that many shares, then he sees something at Apple that he doesn’t like. He’s had several months of working with Tim Cook, and he realizes that he’s no Steve Jobs. Not to mention the horrible recent hirings of execs from United Airlines, Yahoo, and Dixons… 3 of the worst companies on the planet. The ship is sinking, and Forstall is jumping off while he can. I wouldn’t be surprised if Forstall leaves Apple fairly soon after this stock sale.

    1. Or something. With headlines proclaiming that Apple is bigger and more influential than some countries, top executives encounter needs for things like security that they didn’t have before, and those things cost a lot of money.

    2. Obviously, you did not read the part about his other retention bonuses: P.E.D. reports, “Although the sale represented 95% of Forstall’s current Apple holdings, that doesn’t mean he’s getting ready to leave the company. He has two more retention bonuses in the wings…. Fostall could be looking at a windfall worth at least a quarter of a billion dollars.”

      Good luck with that reading disability – eye mind transfer is a difficult thing, at times.


  6. Forstall is simply a greedy bastard clawing his way up the 1% ladder.

    Oh sorry, I thought I was commenting on the Huffington Post site.

    Let me rephrase: Good for you Scott, but don’t leave Apple.

  7. Paying taxes 101:

    It is not against the law to AVOID paying taxes using every legal means. It is against the law to EVADE paying taxes. Period.

    Obviously, there are in-duh-viduals who feel that no one has the right to have more money than them, even if the man or woman who is so blessed is in the greater economic position because of hard work, smart investing and gets off of their a$$ every day and helps change the world.

    I pay almost 50% taxes here in Australia for my earned income and then have to pay 35% of the balance of my income to the US. Tell me about “fair share”…

    Being a dual national is not financially rewarding. Consider that my wife, who is an Aussie, has to pay US taxes on her earnings, even though she does not work in the US or work for a US based company and she is not able to declare any deductions.

    Yep, fair.

    Scott Forestall deserves every dime he has earned. Maybe all of you naysayers would prefer reading this on an Android-based piece of crap.


    1. I am a dual citizen as well. My understanding is that income is taxed in one country or the other. I do not get taxed twice on the same income. Are your wife’s earnings from work carried out in Australia or from investments in the US? Is she getting taxed twice on the same earnings? Is she simply paying 35% tax rather than 50% tax?

      You state that “Being a dual national is not financially rewarding.” Do you feel that you should be financially rewarded for being a dual national? From the information that you provide, it is not possible to determine unambiguously that you are being financially penalised. Your opening sentence provides an interesting possibility. Are you finding it difficult to avoid paying taxes? Are you annoyed that the tax rates are higher here?

      The societies in the two countries are structured differently. The Australian wage structure is flatter and we have socialised medicine. That makes it easier for young people to get established. It also results in reduced crime and creates a very pleasant living environment. It means that my income tax rate is nearly 50% as well, but I am happy to pay my share.

      1. The point is that US citizens living and working outside of the USA are still legally required to pay US income tax. That applies even if you are fully resident in a foreign country and never visit the USA as long as you retain your citizenship.

        So if you’re a US citizen living in Australia and you are not paying US income tax then you are breaking the law.

        The US is, as far as I know, the only nation in the world that punishes it’s citizens in such a manner.

        (Having just looked it up, it seems that you’re allowed to earn $95,100 tax-free, but you must still declare your income and claim an exemption. Anything you earn beyond that and you should be paying both domestic and US taxes, meaning that in many territories your effective tax-rate will end up being 70% or more.)

      2. I know a few dual citizens.. I feel for you.

        “How many elected government officials pay their fair share? They enact laws that protect themselves but not the general population.”

        you mean like Obamacare? (Read the fine print, i know 2000+ pages…) Congress is exempt from it… but forced on it’s citizens.
        Social Security? congress can opt out.. we can’t.

        I love the “Buffett rule” argument going around right now.. Buffett wants higher taxes…. Yet he has NOT paid his taxes in years. owes more than a billion to the IRS, and his companies are getting sued for not paying taxes…

        but “My secretary pays more than I do” well when you don’t pay… thats true.

        but you can give me your home in Hawaii if you want… 😉

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