SEC reveals Moore's multimillion-dollar EA deal

Documents show executive will get $1.5M signing bonus, $330K in moving expenses, $550K in base pay, up to $412,500 in annual bonuses, and 400,000 stock options.


Whenever a publicly traded company hires an executive with a massive compensation package, it must file documents outlining its offer with the Securities and Exchange Commission by law. So when Electronic Arts today announced it had lured Peter Moore away from his gig as corporate vice president at Microsoft, many industry watchers began snooping around EA's SEC filing in order to root out details.

The results did not disappoint. According to an 8-K form filed with the SEC this afternoon, the 52-year-old Moore will receive "a one-time bonus of $1,500,000 (minus applicable taxes) in recognition of the future compensation value he would be foregoing [sic] by leaving his position at Microsoft." Though the bonus is technically for his first two years as president of EA Sports, he will receive it in the next 30 days. If he leaves EA before July 17, 2009, he will have to repay a prorated amount.

Moore will also receive $330,000 in moving expenses which will have to be repaid in full if he leaves EA before one year. But, given Moore's pay package, that would seem unlikely. He will receive $550,000 in base annual salary and a "target" of $412,500 in annual bonuses--meaning he could potentially earn $962,500 every year before taxes, if EA only grants him the "target" bonus. However, many companies also issue bonuses in excess of said targets, meaning Moore could irreconcilably make even more.

According to the 8-K filing, the publisher also offered Moore "a stock option to purchase 350,000 shares of the company's common stock" as well as 50,000 restricted stock shares. Some 24 percent of the first batch of the stock will vest after the first year of Moore's hire, with the remainder vesting at 2 percent per month going forward. The restricted stock will vest 50 percent after two years, with the other 50 percent vesting four years after the executive's hire date.

Moore's stock options were issued under the terms of EA's 2000 Equity Incentive Plan. The plan expressly says the exercise price of that batch of stock will be the "fair market value" of said stock when the shares were issued. EA's share price ended the day on the NASDAQ at $49.47, which would have been his strike price were he hired today. Moore's first day is on September 17, meaning that the closing price on that day will be his strike price. That means when means when Moore's options vest, the company's share price must be higher than the market-close price on September 17 for the executive to be able to sell his stock at a profit.

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