On February 14, 2006, in response to SFAS 123R, our Compensation Committee approved the acceleration of the vesting of all of the out-of-the-money, unvested stock options, except for options held by executive officers and non-employee directors. An option was considered out-of-the-money if the stated option exercise price was greater than $3.50 per share.
As a result of the Compensation Committee�s decision to accelerate the vesting of all of the out-of-the-money, unvested stock options, except for options held by executive officers and non-employee directors, effective as of February 15, 2006, options to purchase approximately 5.8 million shares of our common stock became immediately exercisable. The weighted average exercise price per share of all of the options accelerated was $4.80.
The decision to accelerate vesting of these options was made primarily to avoid recognizing compensation cost in our consolidated statement of operations in the financial statements after the effectiveness of SFAS 123R. In addition, because these options have exercise prices in excess of current market values and are not fully achieving their original objectives of incentive compensation and employee retention, the acceleration may have a positive effect on employee morale and retention.
The future compensation expense that will be avoided, based on our implementation date for SFAS 123R on April 1, 2006, is approximately $8.6 million, $5.4 million, $1.3 million, and $100,000 in the fiscal years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively.