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Oh, No... Did Apple’s GC Unload Too Early?

Sept. 21, 2016, 3:00 PM

Apple Computers’ stock has been flying high in the stratosphere, up 7 percent for the month and at around $113 all week, driven by hot sales of its latest iPhone.

Looking back, it wasn’t supposed to be this way: The iPhone 7 was cast as an incremental upgrade on past models, with stale aesthetics . And at the beginning of September, its stock had dropped 26 percent from its all-time high in February, 2015. “It’s been an awful year for Apple,” one Bloomberg columnist explained.

But in the biggest rally in five years, the stock surged 11 percent in the past week — unfortunately too late for five Apple executives who unloaded a massive amount shares in August, according to a Bloomberg article .

Among them was General Counsel Bruce Sewell, who sold 23,305 shares in early August followed by a second sale of 24,000 shares , for a total gain of approximately $5 million, according to SEC filings. He still owns 192,000 shares.

“While the amount pales in comparison to the company’s $610 billion market value, it breaks a four-year trend in which deliberate selling was almost non-existent among insiders,” Bloomberg wrote.

Sewell has had a big year: He was the number one highest paid GC on Big Law Business’ list , which compared the total compensation received among companies that disclosed their GC’s compensation in their proxy statement. (Not all companies do.)

His compensation was estimated at more than $25 million, though not all of that was in cash and in fact, the bulk of it occurred through a stock award.

Sewell’s face has been in the news for arguably more important reasons: He’s been helping to shape the company’s privacy policy, and faced Congress after Apple’s high-profile refusal to unlock an iPhone connected to the San Bernardino terrorist attack earlier this year.

We’ve reached out to Sewell for comment and will let you know if we hear back.

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