This excerpt taken from the SOFO DEF 14A filed Jan 28, 2009.
The Committee has a long-standing practice of providing long-term incentive compensation grants to the executive officers. The Committee believes that such grants, in the form of stock options, help align our executive officers interests with Sonics stockholders. All stock options have been granted under either our 1995 Stock Option Plan or the 1999 Non-Qualified Plan (Employee Plans).
The Committee reviews option grant recommendations by the Chief Executive Officer for each executive officer, but retains full discretion to accept, reject or revise each recommendation. The Committees policy is to grant options on the date it approves them. The exercise price is determined in accordance with the terms of the Employee Plan and cannot be less than the Fair Market Value, as defined in the Plan, of Sonics common stock. The Committee typically grants options once a year, but may grant options to newly hired executives at other times.
In making its determinations, the Committee considers the number of options or shares owned by the executive officers.
In December 2007, the Committee approved option grants to purchase 50,000, 120,000 and 50,000 for Mssrs. Buinevicius, Minor and Schmidt. Mr. Lipps further received options to purchase 100,000 shares of common stock upon his promotion to Executive Vice President of Sales in April 2008 and incentive grants of 25,000 and 15,000 in March 2008 and December 2007, respectively, as described in the Grant of Plan-Based Awards table in this Proxy Statement. In November 2008, the Committee awarded stock options to purchase 60,000 shares each to Mssrs. Buinevicius, Schmidt, Minor and Lipps.