- Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla
Apple is starting a new program that gives more employees a stock option that was previously only offered to those working in certain sections of the company, according to an internal memo CEO Tim Cook sent out to staff.
The memo, which was published by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, reveals that Apple is expanding its restricted stock unit (RSU) program for employees.
Apple typically selects certain employees that are eligible to receive RSUs in order to incentivize them to stay at the company, the memo says. These types of offers are usually made within Apple’s product team, but now the company is broadening its rules so that more Apple employees are eligible for a grant. These can include AppleCare and Apple Retail employees too.
Gurman’s sources say Apple started to distribute RSUs to retail employees on Wednesday, with grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 worth of shares.
Here’s the letter from Cook:
I’m writing you today to announce a new stock ownership program employees.
For many years, we have offered people across the company the opportunity to become shareholders in Apple by participating in the Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), which makes Apple stock available at a discount that’s exclusive to employees. Many of you have taken advantage of this program, and I am told we have one of the highest participation rates of any company offering employee stock purchase plans.
In addition to the ESPP, employees in certain roles have been eligible to receive restricted stock units. Each year, the management team recommends eligible employees, typically from our product areas, to receive RSUs as an incentive to continue their important contributions to Apple. Each grant is approved by the Board of Directors.
This year, I’m excited to let you know that the Executive Team has created a new program for stock ownership through RSU grants. It’s designed to reach employees who were not previously eligible, including many in our amazing Retail and AppleCare teams. The new program extends eligibility to everyone not covered by other RSU programs, effectively making everyone who works for Apple eligible for an RSU grant. This is an usual step, and very special – just like our team.
At Apple, our most important resource, our soul, is our people. Along with our many other progressive benefit plans, this is another way to say thanks. On behalf of the Executive Team, I’d like to thank you for your many contributions to Apple. Working with all of you is the privilege of a lifetime.