Ever wonder how executives manage to have the automatic sell plans magically trigger when major news is released. Here is an explanation of how it works and why the "automatic sale" excuse is complete garbage.
"An insider automatic stock sale is a plan (often called a 10b-5 plan) that provides that an insider will trade shares automatically in amounts and on dates set forth in the plan. It could be "sell 1,000 shares every Friday" or it could be very complicated (e.g. "sell 1,000 shares if the price hits $10 and the trading volume is at least 100,000 shares"). The reason for it is because insiders often can't sell because they have insider information. Trading with inside information is illegal. But by having an automatic plan, the insider is not trading on inside information (the trade is automatic and will happen regardless of any inside knowledge)."