Another big payday for Apple’s senior vice president for retail
Ron Johnson, the man Steve Jobs hired from Target (TGT) to create the Apple Store — and who famously persuaded his boss, over Jobs’ initial objections, to include a Genius Bar — has joined the string of top Apple (AAPL) executives taking advantage of the stock’s recent run-up to cash in some options.
According to an SEC Form 4 filed Saturday, Johnson sold 150,000 shares with a strike price of $11.06 on Thursday for an average price of $306.07, clearing $44,151,000 profit on the trade.
It’s the third big windfall for Johnson in the space of three years. On Oct. 31, 2007 — Halloween — he sold 700,000 shares with a strike price of $23.72 for just over $185 each, making $112 million on that deal. Then last March he sold another 200,000 shares, clearing nearly $46 million.
He still holds 232,875 “beneficially owned” shares, according to the latest Form 4.
Not that Apple’s decision to hire Johnson and reward him richly hasn’t paid off. Johnson now runs a chain of 317 increasingly expansive stores that generate more sales per square foot than Tiffany and have become, as Needham’s Charlie Wolf put it in a note to clients Thursday, “the face of Apple.”
In the company’s most recent quarter, revenues from the stores reached $3.57 billion, up 74% from last year.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]