Dendreon CEO Mitch Gold Cashes Out With $26.7M Payday On FDA Approval

5/3/10Follow @xconomy

[Correction: 5:10 pm Pacific, 5/3/10] Dendreon made history last Thursday, and its historic achievement made CEO Mitch Gold about $26.7 million richer.

Gold, 43, exercised his options to buy shares of stock in his company (NASDAQ: DNDN) last Thursday, when Dendreon got the good news that the FDA had cleared its novel prostate cancer drug for sale in the U.S. Gold exercised his right to buy the shares at prices between $4.41 and $9.77 a share. He then sold 400,000 shares to investors that day at $51.01, while another 154,887 were sold at $54.71 the next day, according to a filing late today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. My math says that Gold generated gross proceeds of $28.89 million from the stock sales. The shares cost him about $2.21 million to buy, meaning his net proceeds were about $26.67 million.  [Correction 5:10 pm Pacific: An earlier version said Gold generated $17.45 million gross proceeds from the sales, based on a misreading of the filing.]

The sales leave Gold with 224,359 shares beneficially owned, according to the regulatory filing. The sales were timed for maximum profit to Gold, as Dendreon boomed from $40.09 the morning of April 29, before the FDA announcement. Shares of Dendreon closed at $55.43 today, up 38 percent in the wake of the FDA’s decision.

Dendreon spokeswoman Katherine Stueland didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

This isn’t the first time Gold has picked an opportune moment to sell stock in his company. Gold unloaded some of his stock in April 2007, during an extraordinary run-up in Dendreon stock that was triggered by a positive vote from an FDA advisory panel. The Dendreon CEO sold 202,090 shares on April 2, 2007, at $13.46 apiece, for gross proceeds of $2.7 million, according to this filing with the SEC.)

Gold was named CEO of Dendreon in October 2002 when he was just 35 years old. He’s a urologist by training. He was paid a base salary of $550,000, and when counting stock options, stock awards, and other benefits, he received total compensation worth $3.8 million in 2009, according to the company’s most recent proxy statement.

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