The Aces of Stock Options

A CIO’s decision to exercise his stock options once served as a sign of his forthcoming departure from his company. “Ordinarily, you’d think they’re getting ready to go because they’re cashing in,” says Mark Polansky, North American managing director of executive search firm Korn Ferry’s IT Center of Expertise.

But that’s not the case today. Many CIOs are cashing in on their options simply because the money is good, says Polansky. “People have done well with options—not just CIOs, but senior and middle management,” he says. “There’s a common feeling that we’re either at the top of the stock market or near the top, and since we all learned that we don’t know how to predict the top (we all had that problem in 2000), people are more cautious this time. They’re taking money off the table and trying to avoid giving it all back when the bubble bursts,” he says.

Who’s cashing in? And what are they walking away with?

According to SEC filings from May and June:

CIO/COMPANY

SHARES PURCHASED/

TOTAL PRICE
SHARES SOLD PRICE NET PROFIT
Robert Moore, Paetec 5,000/$15,450 $55,751 $40,301
Janice Skredsvig, Paccar 4,801/$182,294 $417,207 $234,913
Beth Perlman, Constellation Energy 4,000/$124,840 $372,955 $248,115
Richard Cella, Alpharma 31,125/$386,575 $792,380 $405,805
Michael Relich, Guess 10,000/$77,200 $494,006 $416,806
Scott Henkel, Capella Education 30,000/$472,163 $1.03 million $559,237
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