As the financial tsunamis continue to hit Wall Street, most of the Silicon Valley has now gone down and under – with almost all the employees at the 150 top tech companies in the valley holding options that are now worthless. According to Silicon Alley Insider:
As of October 24, more than 80% of Silicon Valley’s 150 largest publicly traded companies have employees holding underwater options,according to executive compensation research firm Equilar. CEOs at 90% of those companies also held options worth less than their strike price.
At Google, fully a third of the company’s 20,000 employees hold underwater options. Last month, Google (GOOG)sought to soothe anxious employees with an internal employee-compensation presentation, reminding them that their Transferable Stock Options are worth more than regular options.
One Yahoo exec told the Wall Street Journal: "Anyone who’s been hired after I was hired, all those people are underwater." Chipmaker AMD (AMD) plans to ask shareholders permission to lower the strike price 99% of its outstanding options.