When Errol Samuelson, Move Inc.'s former chief strategy officer, departed for Zillow last month, he said he was drawn to the company's innovative culture and the chance to connect with a large consumer base.
Zillow has disclosed another possible motivation for the move -- the company has granted Samuelson 59,320 shares of its Class A common stock worth more than $5 million based on Zillow's current share price.
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The shares don't belong to Samuelson yet -- they will vest gradually over a four-year period from their April 4 issue date -- and Zillow has yet to release information about his salary.
Samuelson was making a healthy living at Move -- his 2012 combined salary and bonus of $639,491 was second only to Move CEO Steve Berkowitz, who earned $1.1 million that year, according to an April 2013 proxy statement.
Samuelson was also granted $936,000 in stock in 2012, plus stock options valued at $289,400. But he ended up forfeiting 80,000 shares that Move said it had granted to him "in connection with an anticipated reduction to his annual cash incentive bonus opportunity" after a compensation committee "determined that such reduction to Mr. Samuelson's incentive bonus opportunity was not in the best interests of the company."
Under Move's 2013 bonus plan, Samuelson was eligible to earn a cash incentive bonus of up to $700,000.
After selling 10,344 shares of Move's stock in February, Samuelson owned 89,828 Move shares worth about $1 million based on the company's current share price.