Apple’s Tim Cook was ‘best paid’ CEO in 2011

Karen Haslam
18 July, 2012
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Despite the fact that it turned out that Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t earn US$1 million a day, as claimed by the New York Times back in April, the claim that he is the highest paid CEO of a publicly traded company has reared up again.

The San Jose Mercury News has surveyed the pay of CEOs and found that Cook’s compensation in 2011 was US$378 million. The paper does note that almost all of that is tied up in shares that he can’t sell for years – stock that his board hopes is motivation to stick around.

The survey shows that Cook’s salary is US$900,071. The report notes: Cook’s actual take-home was US$1.8 million in pay and a bonus. The rest – 1 million shares of Apple – vests over 10 years. The value was calculated at Apple’s share price at the time the award was granted, but as of July 11, with Apple closing at about $598 a share, the value of Cook’s restricted stock has grown to almost US$600 million.

Oracle’s Larry Ellison, on-the-other-hand, earned a measly US$77.6 million including US$62.6 million in option awards. His salary is US$1 (much like late Apple CEO Steve Jobs).

HP’s Meg Whitman also took a US$1 annual salary but made US$16.5 million in 2011.

Other CEO salaries in the top 25, range form from US$375,000 for John Chambers of Cisco to US$2,800,000 for John Stumpf at Wells Fargo.

CEO Steve Jobs took a customary US$1 salary. During the fiscal year 2010, Jobs received no new stock or option awards. He held about 5.5 million shares of Apple’s stock and never sold a share since rejoining Apple in 1997. “The Company believes Mr. Jobs’s level of stock ownership significantly aligns his interests with shareholders’ interests; his total compensation consists of a salary of US$1 per year,” Apple said in a proxy statement.


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