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Apple Executive Accused of ‘Speculative’ Stock Selling, COO Jeff Williams Sells $30 Million in Stock

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer (COO), sold $30 million (currently about RMB 206 million) worth of Apple stock last week. One expert believes that Williams is “speculating” by selling his shares at this time.

▲ Williams

According to the SEC’s regulatory filing released on Friday, Williams sold 187,730 shares of Apple stock on March 22 at an average price of $159.76. His stock sale was made under the 10b5-1 trading plan, which allows executives and other company insiders to arrange stock sales at certain times and at certain pricing, among other conditions. Williams’ plan was adopted on Nov. 29, 2021, and amended on Feb. 16, 2023.

Ben Silverman, director of research at VerityData, a financial research firm, wrote in a report to clients that Williams deviated from his usual practice of not selling immediately after the stock vests, but instead waited until the stock price rose before selling. Silverman said in the report that Williams acquired the shares last October but did not sell them immediately, “The shares were then below the minimum sale price threshold set by Williams, and his amendment to the 10b5-1 plan in February of this year either lowered that threshold or set a trigger price. This was a behavioral change, an opportunistic change.”

Williams still owns 489,816 shares of Apple stock, worth nearly $80 million at current share price levels (currently about RMB 550 million). So far, Apple shares are up about 22 percent in 2023, the same annual gain as they were at the close of trading on March 21, the last full trading day before Williams began selling his shares.

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Stephen Cruise
Stephen Cruisehttps://www.techgoing.com
Stephen Cruise is a senior editor covering latest smartphones, EVs, PC gaming, console, and tech with 11 years of experience.

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