FACEBOOK investors are braced for further share price falls today after senior executives were revealed to have sold millions of dollars’ worth of shares over the weekend.
Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, sold $7.4m (£4.6m) in shares as soon as she and other Facebook bosses were able to last week.
Chief accounting officer David Spillane sold 61.5 per cent of his shares, netting him $5.4m, while general counsel Ted Ullyot brought in just over $3m.
The share sales, revealed in filings after Wall Street closed on Friday night, could be perceived as indicating a lack of confidence in the social network’s future from management, and may unsettle other shareholders, driving the share price yet lower. Facebook stock has dropped to just over $21 from May’s $38 IPO.
The sales could also spook Facebook’s rank-and-file staff, many of whom will be able to sell their holdings in the company next week. On November 14, 800m locked-up shares will flood the market, increasing the number of freely-tradeable Facebook shares by more than a third.
The end of that particular lock-up period could be especially volatile, not only because of the pot of shares that will be freed up, but also because it is the first time that many staff – rather than early investors or management – will be able to sell.
Facebook’s shares have fallen seven and four per cent respectively as previous lock-up periods have expired.