Facebook’s executives gained the right to sell stock this week and three are now starting to cash out. SEC docs show COO Sheryl Sandberg is selling 352,904 shares to pull in $7,440,696.93. That’s just 1.91% of her current, massive personal stake and 1.74% if you include her trusts. General Counsel Ted Ullyot is selling a little too. However, Chief Accounting Officer David Spillane is selling over 61%. That’s 256,000 shares out of the 416,000 he was just awarded, which could worry Wall Street.
The fact that Sheryl is selling such a tiny percent of her Facebook holdings shouldn’t alarm investors. If anything, it should bolster their confidence that such a lauded business woman believes in the future of the social network. It’s still a fair amount of raw shares compared to the other execs.
On the other hand, Spillane’s sizable dump could be cause for concern. His position close to Facebook’s internal financials could spook some investors into thinking there’s trouble ahead. Then again, Spillane might just have some personal reason for needing to sell now. That could be family debts or upgrading his lifestyle after liveing somewhat thriftily for an executive of his status.
Facebook is likely trying hard to convince executives and lower-level employees not to sell too much stock, or at least do it gradually. A sudden flood of stock on the market could cause the share price to plummet. Facebook has been working hard to foster hope in its business plan by revealing several big potential money makers over the last quarter. All that work could be undone, though, if execs or legions of teammates liquidate their stakes in the company and Wall Street takes it as a bad omen.
Here’s the SEC Form 4 document Sheryl Sandberg filed today:
[Image Credit: Todd Heisler/New York Times / Redux / eyevine / Guardian, Drew Altizer / Flickr]