IBM rewards workers with share package

IBM head Sam Palmisano has been celebrating following news of the company's fourth-quarter earnings which sent its stock through the roof - and he wants to share the love, offering hundreds of thousands of IBM employees their own little chunk of Big Blue.

According to Businessweek, Palmisano is planning to offer any and all non-executive workers who performed 'consistently' between 2007 and 2010 long-term stock options worth $1,000 - based on the company's current share value.

Although the shares won't be eligible for sale until 2015 - that's the 'long-term' part - it's a nice gesture, and one that will likely see the majority of the company's estimated 400,000 employees benefit from Palmisano's largesse.

In a memo announcing the payout, Palmisano told IBMers: "We are continuing to outperform the market and our competitors and to make encouraging progress against our strategic growth initiatives.

"Our long-term success is the product of the work, innovation, and superior execution of more than 400,000 IBMers."

At the close of trading yesterday, IBM's shares were valued at $155.80 - the highest closing price in the long history of the company, following an impressive 12 per cent rise over the past twelve months.