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Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Former Apple exec reaps $8m in stock sale

Former Apple senior hardware executive Jonathan Rubinstein treated himself to a little retirement bonus last week, cashing in on nearly $8 million in Apple shares acquired during his tenure at the company.

Rubinstein sold 112,293 shares of Apple common stock on April 28th at market values of between $70.90 and $70.93, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The sale netted the former Apple hardware chief approximately $7,962,700.

All of the shares were acquired by Rubinstein under Apple's 2003 Employee Stock Plan. He retains 28,140 shares following the transaction, the filing states.

Less than two years before he retired in March of this year, Rubinstein was promoted to oversee Apple's iPod division. Prior to that, he had led all of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's Mac hardware engineering efforts.

Often called "Ruby" by his colleagues, Rubinstein originally made his way to Apple along with Steve Jobs during the Mac maker's acquisition of NeXT in 1996. He was largely responsible for the hardware engineering efforts that helped fueled the company's return to profitability and acclaim.

Rubinstein's "genius" eventually landed him amongst Apple's elite "top five." Despite his retirement, he continues to play a semi-active role at the company, inking a consulting deal last month where he agreed to provide consulting services through April 2007.