Google, Inc., says it is launching a transferable stock option (TSO) program that will enable employees to sell vested stock options in an online auction.
Morgan Stanley will manage the auction, and Smith Barney will serve as the employee stock option administrator. Google says it is working with multiple financial institutions to participate as bidders in the auction.
Google's employee stock options typically have a ten-year term from the grant date. Under the TSO program, Google's employee stock options, upon transfer, will have a lifespan of the lesser of two years or up to the remaining term under the original grant.
Google says it expects the program will go into effect in the second quarter of 2007. Only stock options issued since Google's initial public offering will be eligible for the TSO program, and Google's executive management group won't be allowed to participate.
The company notes that it has discussed the program with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying it will ensure the program complies with applicable securities laws.