Friday, February 19, 2010

NYT Co. awards nearly 350,000 new stock options to CEO Robinson and five other senior executives

[Chart shows executive stock awards disclosed today]

The New York Times Co. has awarded new stock options and other stock-based compensation potentially worth millions of dollars to six of the company's most senior executives, according to regulatory filings today.

The awards made yesterday appear to be the first evidence of annual executive bonuses for 2009, a year when the company's belt-tightening included more layoffs and other cost reductions. Complete details of those bonuses, plus salaries, benefits and other 2009 compensation, are expected when the company files its annual shareholders proxy statement, likely around mid-March. (List of the six highest-compensated executives in 2008.)

The awards disclosed today via U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings came in two forms:
  • Stock options. These give recipients the right to buy shares from the company in the future at a fixed price -- known as the strike price -- no matter how high the stock rises. The options disclosed today become the executives' property -- known as vesting -- in three equal annual installments beginning Feb. 18, 2011. The strike price is also the same for each executive: $11.13, the documents show.
  • Restricted stock units (RSUs). These are paid in cash based on the market value of NYT Co. shares, and vest on Feb. 18, 2013. Each RSU is equal to one share of common stock. For example, a grant of 1,000 RSUs would be worth $15,000 if the stock was trading for $15 a share.
As expected, CEO Janet Robinson (left) topped the list; she received 181,650 options and 13,650 RSUs, the filing for her awards says. At today's closing price -- $11.02 -- her RSUs would be worth $150,423 cash in February 2013 if shares were trading at the same price.

Todd McCarty, one of the executives on today's list, had already received options and RSUs earlier this month, according to a regulatory filing this week. Those appear to have amounted to a signing bonus for joining the company as its new senior vice president for human resources in December.

The filings came in a series of Forms 4, filed with the SEC. The complete list is in the company's SEC documents section, here.

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