Oracle issued Ray Lane, president and chief operating officer, with options to buy 2.5 million of its shares, as part of its bid to counter a lucrative offer by Novell to become its chief executive, according to today?s 'Wall Street Journal'.
As reported by 'VNU Newswire', Novell tried hard to woo Lane earlier in the year, before it hired Eric Schmidt, former chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems, in March.
But Lane has since insisted that, although he was never interested in the Novell job, the networking software vendor kept offering him more money until he felt obliged to inform Larry Ellison, Oracle?s chairman and chief executive.
While it is unknown how much Lane was offered for the job, a signing bonus of $12 million in cash was believed to be part of the Novell package.
Ellison persuaded the board to come up with the share option scheme for Lane because he did not want to break up his management team.
But, no value has so far been placed on the stock options, which Lane had the right to buy at $41 per share, but they expire after four years.
The option grant is, however, believed to be one of the most generous ever granted to an executive at a hi-tech company.
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