He’s already one of the richest people on the planet – and now Apple’s Tim Cook could be on the verge of lining his pockets even deeper.
With a fortune of 3.2 billion Australian dollars under his belt, Apple CEO Tim Cook is one of the richest people on the planet.
But a plan to reward him for the tech giant’s incredible success – to the tune of A$137 million – has sparked outrage from shareholders.
In January, Apple – which has been the world’s most valuable company for several years now – hit another milestone after hitting a record market value of $3 trillion, with investors confident that this incredible streak will continue as shoppers are scrambling to get their hands on iPhones, MacBooks and other products and services.
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“It’s a fantastic achievement and certainly worth celebrating,” Longbow Asset Management CEO Jake Dollarhide told Reuters at the time.
“It just shows you how far Apple has come and how dominant it is seen in the eyes of the majority of investors.”
Following these astonishing results, Apple revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier in 2022 that Mr Cook, 61, was to mark $82.3 million (A$114,512,302) in shares .
This is in addition to his annual salary of $3 million (AU$4,174,203) and other compensation, which means his total salary for 2021 is $98.7 million (AU$137,331,278). ) – a massive jump from 2020’s relatively paltry $14.8 million (A$20,592,734).
But not everyone is thrilled with Mr Cook’s tantalizing payday, with a shareholder rights group slamming the plan in a report this week.
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) said in the report that “there are significant concerns regarding the design and magnitude of the equity award made to CEO Cook in FY21.”
“Half of the award lacks performance criteria and the proxy does not indicate that the award will cover future years of awards despite its large size,” he continued.
“A vote AGAINST this proposal is warranted, due to concerns about the design of equity awards and the magnitude of compensation.
“Given that CEO Cook will be eligible for retirement treatment after one year from the date of award, the retention value of the award is limited.”
The group is now urging investors to vote against the package at a March 4 shareholder meeting.
While Apple hasn’t commented on the damning ISS report, it did appear to defend the package in a recent proxy filing, saying “it’s been a remarkable decade for Apple.”
“The 2021 compensation earned by our named executive officers reflects our record net sales and operating results and outstanding total shareholder return performance over the applicable performance periods,” the report said.
“In 2021, we marked the 10th anniversary of Tim Cook’s leadership as CEO. It has been a remarkable decade for Apple and in 2021 Mr Cook received an equity award for the first time since he was promoted to CEO in August 2011.
“…the amount (of Mr. Cook’s salary package) recognizes his exceptional leadership and is commensurate with the size, performance and profitability that Apple has achieved during his tenure.”
Mr Cook took the top job in 2011, having served as Apple’s chief operating officer under late co-founder Steve Jobs.
He first joined Apple in 1998 and has also served on the board of athletic footwear and apparel giant Nike since 2005.