Google’s Stock Option Program

Google (now part of Alphabet Inc.)

Key features

  • Google’s ESOP allowed employees to receive stock options as part of their compensation packages
  • The program included a unique “transferable stock options” feature that allowed employees to sell their vested options to financial institutions or outside investors, providing employees with liquidity and flexibility.

Outcome

  • The ESOP played a significant role in attracting top tech talent to Google
  • The liquidity feature allowed employees to realize the value of their options without waiting for an IPO or sale of the company
  • Many early employees who participated in the ESOP became millionaires, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Starbucks Corporation

Key features

  • Starbucks’ Bean Stock Program granted stock options to eligible employees, including baristas and store managers.
  • The program also included a component called “Bean Stock Rewards,” which provided grants of restricted stock units (RSUs) to employees.

Outcome

  • The program helped foster a sense of ownership and pride among Starbucks employees, who referred to themselves as “partners.”
  • Starbucks consistently ranked as one of the best places to work, and employee engagement and retention were positively impacted by the program.
  • Employees could participate in the company’s financial success through stock ownership.

Starbuck’s Bean Stock Program

Microsoft’s ESOP

Microsoft Corporation

Key features

  • Microsoft’s ESOP has been a cornerstone of its compensation strategy for decades.
  • The program includes both stock options and employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs).
  • Microsoft’s ESOP provides employees with opportunities for ownership and participation in the company’s growth

Outcome

  • Many Microsoft employees have become millionaires through the ESOP, which helped attract and retain top talent in the highly competitive tech industry.
  • The ESOP contributed to a culture of innovation and collaboration within the company.

Southwest Airlines Co.

Key features

  • Southwest’s ESOP is an employee-owned program where employees gradually gain ownership of the company’s stock over time.
  • The ESOP is an integral part of Southwest’s corporate culture, emphasizing teamwork and shared success.

Outcome

  • The ESOP has contributed to Southwest’s reputation for excellent customer service and employee satisfaction.
  • Southwest employees have a significant stake in the company’s success, leading to high levels of engagement and dedication

Southwest Airlines’ ESOP

Buehler’s Fresh Foods’ ESOP

Buehler’s Fresh Foods (grocery store chain)

Key features

  • Buehler’s, a family-owned grocery chain, transitioned to employee ownership through an ESOP.
  • Employees were granted shares and gradually became owners of the company.

Outcome

  • The ESOP helped secure the company’s future by providing an exit strategy for the retiring owners.
  • Employee morale and commitment to providing excellent customer service improved as employees took pride in their ownership stake

Unilever (Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company)

Key features

  • Unilever’s LTIP is a performance-based stock option program for senior executives.
  • The program rewards executives with stock options based on the achievement of specific performance targets, including financial and sustainability goals.

Outcome

  • The LTIP aligns executive interests with Unilever’s long-term sustainability and business objectives.
  • It has contributed to Unilever’s reputation as a leader in corporate sustainability and responsible business practices.

Unilever’s Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP)

SAP’s Global Stock Option Program

SAP SE (German multinational software corporation)

Key features

  • SAP offers a Global Stock Option Program to employees around the world.
  • The program includes stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) as part of employees’ compensation packages.

Outcome

  • SAP’s ESOP has been instrumental in attracting and retaining top talent in the highly competitive tech industry.
  • It has encouraged employee innovation and a commitment to SAP’s mission of helping businesses run better.

Siemens AG (German multinational conglomerate)

Key features

  • Siemens’ EPP allows eligible employees to purchase company shares at a discount through payroll deductions.
  • The program also includes stock options and performance-based grants.

Outcome

  • The EPP has helped employees build wealth and create a sense of ownership in Siemens’ success.
  • It aligns employee interests with the company’s performance and long-term growth objectives.

Siemens’ Equity Participation Plan (EPP)

Vodafone’s ShareSave Scheme

Vodafone Group Plc (British multinational telecommunications company)

Key features

  • Vodafone’s ShareSave Scheme allows employees to save a portion of their salary to purchase company shares at a discounted price after a fixed savings period.
  • The program encourages long-term financial planning and participation in Vodafone’s success.

Outcome

  • The ShareSave Scheme promotes financial literacy among employees and enables them to benefit from the company’s growth.
  • It fosters a sense of ownership and loyalty among Vodafone employees.

AstraZeneca plc (British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company)

Key features

  • AstraZeneca offers share option plans to employees as part of their compensation.
  • The plans include various types of stock options and awards.

Outcome

  • AstraZeneca’s ESOPs have played a role in attracting and retaining talent in the competitive pharmaceutical industry.
  • They have motivated employees to contribute to the company’s mission of improving global health.

AstraZeneca’s Share Option Plans

Spotify’s Employee Stock Option Program

Spotify (Scaleup, music streaming platform, Swedish origin)

Key features

  • Spotify offers stock options to its employees, aligning their interests with the company’s growth and success.
  • The program includes options for employees at various levels, including engineers, product managers, and executives.

Outcome

  • Spotify’s ESOP has been instrumental in attracting top tech talent and fostering innovation.
  • Employees have the opportunity to share in the company’s success as it continues to expand globally.

Fintech Startup (UK-based)

Key features

  • Revolut, a digital banking and financial technology company, offers an equity program that includes stock options to employees.
  • The program aims to motivate employees and align their interests with the company’s mission of disrupting the traditional banking industry.

Outcome

  • Revolut’s ESOP has helped the startup attract a highly skilled workforce and rapidly expand its services across multiple markets.
  • Employees have a sense of ownership in the company’s rapid growth and success.

Revolut’s Equity Program

TransferWise (Wise)’s Share Option Plan

Fintech Scaleup (UK-based)

Key features

  • TransferWise (now Wise) offers a Share Option Plan to employees, providing them with the opportunity to purchase company shares at a future date.
  • The program is designed to align employee interests with the company’s mission of making international money transfers more transparent and affordable.

Outcome

  • The Share Option Plan has contributed to Wise’s reputation as a fintech unicorn and a disruptor in the financial services industry.
  • Employees are motivated to help the company achieve its vision and benefit from its growth

Scaleup (Estonian-based ride-hailing and delivery company)

Key features

  • Bolt offers an Equity Incentive Program, including stock options, to its employees.
  • The program is designed to reward and retain talent while aligning with the company’s mission to make urban transportation more efficient.

Outcome

  • Bolt’s ESOP has been instrumental in expanding the company’s global footprint and attracting employees who are passionate about the shared mobility sector.
  • Employees have a stake in the company’s growth and success.

Bolt’s Equity Incentive Program

Adyen’s Stock Option Plan

Scaleup (Dutch-based payment technology company)

Key features

  • Adyen’s Stock Option Plan allows employees to become shareholders and benefit from the company’s growth in the fintech and payment processing industry.
  • The program reflects Adyen’s commitment to innovation and excellence in payments.

Outcome

  • Adyen’s ESOP has contributed to its rapid rise as a fintech leader and global payment platform.
  • Employees are motivated to deliver exceptional results and share in the company’s achievements.