Utah Jazz Owners, Dwyane Wade and Ryan Smith sit with the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook during a preseason game between the against the Utah Jazzv and the against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 13, 2021 | Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images
A proxy statement filed by Apple on Thursday revealed exactly how much one can earn after ten years of running the world’s most valuable and most profitable company, and for Tim Cook, that number is $98.7 million. While his base salary stayed at $3 million, an additional $12 million in incentives, $82 million worth of stock awards, and the money spent to cover items like security and private flights — since 2017, Apple doesn’t let its CEO fly commercial — nudged the entire thing closer to the $100 million mark.
According to Apple, its total shareholder return “was at the 97th percentile of the companies that were included in the S&P 500 for the entire performance period” from 2018 to 2021.
That’s more than six times his 2020 pay of $14 million, and as noted by MacRumors, and doesn’t include more than $750 million in shares that vested this year as the final part of a ten-year package Cook received when he took over the company. The terms of that package changed in 2013 when stock performance slipped, which Apple says happened at Cook’s request, putting some of the grant at risk if didn’t return enough money to shareholders. And as we noted while recapping a decade of Apple under the leadership of Tim Cook, we all know what happened next.
In August, when we wrote that decade recap, Apple was still approaching a $2.5 trillion market cap, and in the time since, it has crossed $3 trillion (no matter how briefly). It hasn’t all been happy times, however. Over the last couple of years, Apple employees have opened up like never before about issues with its internal culture including the push to return to the office and pay transparency, among many other things.
A filing like this, of course, is transparent by nature for Cook as well as other members of the board of directors and executive team. Apple notes in its own document that after putting together “base salary, bonuses, commissions, and grant date fair value of equity awards granted to employees in 2021 as our consistently applied compensation measure” to find the pay of its median employee, they received $68,254, creating a compensation ratio of 1,447 to 1.