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Top 6 ExactTarget officers reap $92.5M in option gains in sale

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ExactTarget Inc's $2.5 billion sale will leave the company's top six executives with $92.5 million in stock option gains, a Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows.

The gains for top brass represent about one-third of the $277 million in option gains that the company's 1,700-person work force will rack up, regulatory filings show.

Options give holders the right to buy shares in the future at the price on the date of grant. ExactTarget employees already were sitting on nearly $150 million in option gains before the company announced June 4 that it was being acquired by San Francisco-based Salesforce.com for $33.75 per share, a 53-percent premium to where the stock had traded.

CEO Scott Dorsey will have the biggest option windfall, $28 million.

Other option gains:

—Scott McCorkle, president of technology and strategy: $26.5 million.

—Traci Dolan, chief administrative officer: $11 million.

—Andrew Kofoid, chief operating officer: $10.2 million.

—Timothy Kopp, chief marketing officer: $10 million.

—Steven Collins, chief financial officer: $6.7 million.

Dorsey owns another 1.25 million shares outright. If he sold his entire stake at Salesforce’s offer price, that would be an additional $42.2 million.

Dorsey and his team managed to drive up ExactTarget’s selling price during negotiations with Salesforce, which began in earnest in April. At least “three other global software companies” pursued ExactTarget during that time, documents said.

In a memo to employees last week, Dorsey, who will join Salesforce’s senior management team, told his work force that ExactTarget would maintain its autonomy.

Analysts have agreed with the statement, saying Salesforce needs ExactTarget’s expertise in digital marketing, which is why it was willing to shell out $2.5 billion.

However, the purchase price has done little to elicit excitement from Salesforce investors. Salesforce shares Wednesday traded more than 8 percent below where they were June 3, the day before the announcement.

ExactTarget doled out options to all employees, making the sale lucrative for even lower-level workers. Workers won't necessarily be able to cash in all their options when the deal closes this summer. Some are too recent to have vested and will convert into Salesforce.com options at the equivalent value.

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