More Than Half of Microsoft's Employees Opt for Options Payout

When Microsoft made the historic decision to grant employees options on their otherwise worthless stock earlier this year, more than half of them elected to sell, netting more than 18,500 employees a total of $382 million in cash. Microsoft will distribute the first part of the payout, or about $218 million (an average of $11,782 per employee), this month, the company says. I find it curious that almost half of the company's employees didn't sell their options--a sign, financial analysts say, that those employees believe Microsoft's stock price will again rise to its earlier formidable levels. "We're pleased with the outcome," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "We believe it illustrates a great balance between employees who utilized the program and those who chose not to." This event also illustrates that the day of the "Microsoft Millionaire" is over, presumably.

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