The CEO of Moderna , the pharmaceutical company that has produced millions of vials against COVID, has just announced that “it will donate its multimillion-dollar stock compensation plan.”
As explained by Cinco Días , the Frenchman is going to sell the stock options that correspond to him as remuneration from the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing company for around 642 million dollars (600 million euros). The proceeds will be used for “non-governmental organization projects.”
This has been explained in a public statement on the website of the company itself, and indicates that it does so “to avoid that in the coming months there may be uninformed comments about my motivations.”
He announced it immediately after acknowledging at the Davos Forum that they have a demand problem, that they have to throw away 30 million doses because “no one wants their vaccines.”
So far in 2022, according to the aforementioned economics newspaper, Moderna’s shares have fallen more than 40%, and its price is worth almost four times less than at its peak last August 2021 .
The published text reads thus:
When I joined Moderna almost 11 years ago, I was convinced that mRNA technology would change the world. Through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to make a significant contribution to global public health, while building Moderna into the company it is today.
As part of our growth as an organization and as a reflection of our business success, Moderna has provided my family with financial security that I never imagined or, frankly, sought. In an effort to be as transparent as possible, I wanted to let you know how I intend to use my personal financial resources to improve the world.
As a child growing up in France, I was fortunate to be raised and influenced by the Jesuits. In his teachings, they focus on the idea of “magis”, or ensuring that you strive for excellence. Continual striving for excellence is embedded in what I do and what we do at Moderna. Another powerful idea is that of servant leadership: having the mindset that you exist to serve a greater good. I also married my best friend, who has a huge heart and shares these beliefs.
With those ideals forming the foundation of who I am and strive to be, I wanted to announce an important update: Brenda and I will be donating all of the after-tax earnings from my original stock options since I joined Moderna in 2013. I believe that this will result in a charitable donation of around $355 million (assuming the stock is trading at around $140 per share), and this is after around $280 million in state and federal tax payments.
In a greater spirit of transparency, I would like to explain where this money is coming from and why I am announcing this now.
My first stock option grant, as CEO of Moderna, was granted to me in 2013. It is a 10-year grant that expires in August 2023. I have never exercised a single stock option since joining Moderna in July 2011 almost 11 years ago. I have sold Moderna stock under 10b5-1 plans (which are preset plans that allow executives and others to buy or sell stock when they are not in possession of inside information) and I have given away Moderna stock to charity, but this was all stock that I bought with my family’s savings before the company went public. I am the only investor in the world who invested in Moderna by buying in the Series A, B, C, D, E, F and G fundraising rounds prior to our IPO.
If we do not exercise this stock option, it will expire and be worthless. As such, our choice is clear: exercise choice and use it right now to create positive change in the world.
To try to avoid a significant number of shares coming to market at once and potentially affecting Moderna’s stock price, I have decided to set up a 10b5-1 plan where I exercise 40,000 shares on Wednesdays and 40,000 on Thursdays every week, beginning May 25, 2022, until the option is fully exercised around June 2023.
My family also has our investment entity OCHA LLC, which, under another 10b5-1 plan, sells 10,000 shares every Thursday. These proceeds are invested in private companies trying to make a positive impact on the world: healthcare companies and companies focused on addressing the adverse impact of climate change. The 10b5-1 plan for OCHA LLC is scheduled to run through the end of 2022.
In connection with the decision to establish a 10b5-1 plan to exercise my stock option, in March 2022 I also decided to cancel gifts and sales under my existing 10b5-1 plans. Under these plans, for the past few months I have donated 4,000 shares to charity every Wednesday and sold 9,000 shares every Wednesday of the shares I own.
In the coming months, there may be uninformed comments about my motivations for these sales, but I wanted to share this news now and provide you with transparency about our plans.
I think Moderna’s best days are yet to come. We are just getting started with our mRNA platform, and despite all the uncertainty in the world today, one thing is certain for me: I believe that Moderna and mRNA technology will change the future of healthcare and have a tremendous impact. in patients around the world. This is just the beginning…
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