Apple chief executive Tim Cook's 2012 compensation
package of just over $US4 million is a huge cut on paper for
the top executive of the most valuable U.S. corporation, after
a 2011 package fattened by more than $US376 million in
long-term stock awards.
Cook received the largest single pay package awarded to a
company CEO in about a decade when he replaced Apple's
legendary co-founder, Steve Jobs, shortly before Jobs' death
in October 2011.
The maker of the iPhone and iPad made the 2012 compensation
disclosures in a regulatory filing on Thursday. Cook, who is
in his early 50s, joined Apple in 1998 and became CEO in
Virtually all of Cook's $US376 million bonus in 2011 was in
stock awards that will vest in two chunks - one in 2016 and
the other in 2021. This structure was intended to keep Jobs'
longtime lieutenant at the helm for many years.
In terms of base salary, Cook actually received a 50 percent
increase to $1.4 million for 2012, and the same 200 percent
bonus that other top Apple executives like CFO Peter
Oppenheimer earned, Apple said in a regulatory filing.
The 2012 compensation package for Cook also pales in
comparison with his 2010 pay, which was 14 times higher, when
he served as chief operating officer.
But Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group -
which counts Apple stock as the biggest holding among the
approximately $US2 billion it manages - said Cook's package
was "normal CEO compensation."
For example, Yahoo's chief executive, Marissa Mayer, a former
Google high-flyer hired this year to try to turn around the
struggling Internet icon, won a pay package worth more than
$US70 million. Despite her lack of a chief executive track
record, her basic pay is comparable to Cook's, with about
$US1 million in annual salary and up to $US2 million in an
Oracle Corp's Larry Ellison, one of the most highly paid
chief executives in the United States - and also the world's
sixth-richest man, according to Forbes - received total
compensation for the year ended May 31, 2012, of $US96.2
million - almost all of it in stock options.
That compared with $US77.6 million for Ellison in the prior
Cook's longtime boss, Jobs, famously received $US1 a year in
salary in the three years before he stepped down, though in
2000 he too received a stock option that analysts say was
valued at almost $US600 million at the time.
Cook will not receive any stock awards for 2012, Apple said
in its filing.
The 2012 package includes a salary of $US1.4 million and a
nonequity bonus of $US2.8 million. Cook's base salary
actually increased in 2012 from the $US900,000 he earned in
While Apple's shares are roughly 35 percent higher than when
Cook became chief executive, they have fallen more than 27
percent since October, when they hit a $US700.10 high. The
stock has declined amid investor worries about intensifying
competition in the mobile phone market and growth prospects
in important markets including China.