Gerstner To Sell Some IBM Shares

IBM exec set to divest almost $20 million

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Maybe it's retirement planning. Maybe it's just one way to pay off those Christmas charges.

But IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Louis Gerstner is selling $19.8 million in stock according to papers filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gerstner, who is eligible to retire with sweetened incentives on his 60th birthday in March, has not said one way another what his plans are beyond that. However, he has hinted at retirement and succession by IBM President Samuel Palmisano.

Timing could not be much better for Gerstner. IBM shares recently danced with its 52-week high of $126 per share and last week were still trading at around $120.31.

The SEC filing said Gerstner planned to sell about 173,000 shares; as of IBM's last annual proxy statement, he owned a total of 428,000 shares.

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