For Jobs, a $1 salary. For Cook? $1.4 million


Apple(s AAPL) released its proxy materials ahead of its annual shareholder’s meeting Monday. Contained in the small print is lots of detail about the compensation of its most important executives and board members, including a note about the raise that CEO Tim Cook got in November.

Cook was making $900,000 a year when he was appointed CEO in August. But in November, Apple gave him a hefty raise that put his base salary (not including bonuses or other compensation) at $1.4 million. Cook wasn’t the only one who got a raise either. According to the proxy filing:

In November 2011, the Compensation Committee determined that it was appropriate to increase the base salary of Mr. Cook to $1,400,000 from $900,000 and to increase the base salaries of the other members of the executive team, including Messrs. [Eddy] Cue, [Peter] Oppenheimer, and [Scott] Forstall, to $800,000 from $700,000.

A salary of $1.4 million is far more than Steve Jobs’ $1 salary. But then again, Jobs was still fabulously wealthy, thanks to his ownership and subsequent sale of Pixar to Disney. He also had plenty of other compensation from the company as well as tons of stock, though he sold none of it after he returned to the company in 1997, according to Apple.

The raise puts Cook’s base salary at the high end of fellow tech CEOs. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer made $682,500 in base salary in 2011, Oracle’s Larry Ellison makes a Jobs-like $1 a year (again this doesn’t include bonuses or other awards). Former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano’s salary last year was $1.8 million.

It was reported earlier that Apple gave Cook a grant of 1 million shares of stock in August when he assumed the role of CEO when Jobs stepped down.



Why is this news? So the dude make a good chuck of cash. I wish I did. The motivations at that level are more strategic so I do not doubt he deserves it.


It’s news that this that frightens me into thinking Cook is yet another CEO and that the spirit of Apple might soon perish. It’s quite an exageration but the $1 salary of Jobs had a significance behind it, Jobs’ earnings were determined by how well the company had performed that year and thus in part by how good he himself had run it.

I’m not saying some things will definitely change for the worse now that Jobs is gone, but it’s a fear a lot of Apple users will surely have now.


fear? Cook got a 1,000,000 RSU grant – I think the board could use that as pretty good motivator to perform until he’s vested.


To take a contrarian viewpoint, isn’t one of the problems with executive compensation is that it is too tightly coupled to stock price performance? My read on the zeitgeist on Jobs is that it was his unique product vision that emphasized long term results over short term gain that created the Apple bull run. However, I believe it is more frequently the case that executives pursue tried & true methods for goosing up stock prices such as offshoring of labor to appease next quarters numbers and thus obtain a good return on the stock/options grant…


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