CNBC’s list of highest paid CEOs: #1 Apple’s Tim Cook sifted through data from the S&P 500 to find the 21 CEOs with the largest average compensation packages over the last four years, from 2007 to 2011,” Deborah Caldwell and Gina Francolla report for CNBC. “(Figures for 2012 are incomplete.)”

“The source of the compensation data is CapIQ,” Caldwell and Francolla report. “Compensation is defined as salary, cash bonus, stock awards, option awards, nonequity incentive plan, change in pension value, and all other compensation (such as contributions to 401(k)s and life insurance premium payments). Some of the CEOs on our list have been with their companies for less than four years, and those cases are noted.”

Caldwell and Francolla report, “We also looked at each company’s year-to-date stock percentage gain.” claims Apple CEO Tim Cook is the #1 highest paid CEO:
Tim Cook
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Average compensation: $95 million
Year-to-date stock gain: 32.56 percent
CEO since: August 2011
With the company since: 1998
Age: 52
Note: Steve Jobs resigned as CEO Aug. 24, 2011, and upon taking on the new role, Cook received stock awards valued at $376 million.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Cook’s stock award is meant to keep him at the helm of the world’s most valuable company for the long term. Half of it vests in 2016 and the remaining half not until 2021. Also of note, at Tim Cook’s request, none of his unvested Apple Inc. Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) will participate in Apple Inc. dividend payments (see related article below).

Related article:
Apple CEO Tim Cook declines RSU dividends worth in excess of $75 million – May 24, 2012


      1. Don’t be so sure most executives have in Thier contracts that they are compensated full if the are terminated. iE the dufus they brought in for retail didn’t even last a year and gets millions.

  1. People are going to freak out at the “obscene” amount of money Tim receives, but he’s well worth it. Consider the amount of revenue and profits he is responsible for. Hundreds of billions of dollars. His cut isn’t so crazy when you think about it that way.

  2. He’d have alot more credibility if he were to take a salary of 1 dollar like his predecessor. Doing so would not only be positive PR, but also send a message to ALL Apple employees that he’s working, (like Steve), because he LOVES the job and TOTALLY BELIEVES in the company’s vision. There’s great satisfaction and power in being “under-employed” if you’re doing something you love…

    1. … I see that a CEO is very well paid. That suggests a tinge of greed might be involved. Despite Gordon Gecko, greed is NOT “good”.
      Was that $95 Million for 2011? In cash? Then he has enough money to take care of his reasonable needs for a lifetime. Plus some UNreasonable needs, some wants, and quite a few whims. SH is right that it would be well considered if he took a simple $1, a single dollar, in “salary” and accepted the bulk of his recompense in stock. He could STILL be quite well paid for his time and efforts.

      1. That was not his salary. That is not how much he made this year, or last. These lists are misleading.

        He was offered stock options worth $70 million a year ago when he became CEO… half of which he can take in five years, the other half in ten years. As of this moment, it’s only on paper, he does not have access to this stock to “cash” it in. It is an incentive to keep him around for that period of time.

      1. No CEO is worth more than 100 times the wage he pays the assembler of his products. CEO salaries have no moral defense whatsoever.

        Tim Cook could easily be replaced by another able user-advocate, product-centric manager from within (Jony Ive?) at a fraction of the current bloated compensation and Apple would retain its value for both user and investor.

        The only brilliant unexpected leadership praise-worthy move that Cook has made thus far is that he has resisted the short-outlook Wall Street demands for Apple to play obvious stock manipulation games via buybacks, splits, or excessive dividends. Apple should be distancing itself from the gambling den, not embracing it.

        1. You really think 100 assemblers could run Apple?

          There is no limit to what a CEO can be worth, as there is no limit to the amount of value that can be created by great leadership. “Saving” money by paying a CEO less is false economy as even a fraction of a percent less growth will wipe out that savings many times over. There is no sane reason to not pay a very high performing CEO a perceptible fraction of the growth they oversee.

          Contrary to the opinion of people who don’t understand that most economic value is created by the proper combination of raw materials and raw labor, not simply the materials and labor by themselves, paying someone highly does not mean taking anything from anyone else.

  3. If Tim Cook was worth 6-7 billion like Steve Jobs was, maybe then he’d decide to take a $1.00 per year in salary. The above comments about those numbers being misleading are correct. Also, no one seems to mind when entertainers (Springsteen, Madonna, etc.) rake in tens of millions of actual dollars per year…

      1. I think you might be seeing greed because you are looking through jealous colored glasses.

        There is no limit to what CEO’s can be worth, as there is no limit to how much value can be created by unusually insightful leadership. When a good CEO is paid well, they are only keeping a fraction of the value they guided into existence.

        As our society becomes more knowledge intensive, the amount of value created by leadership, as apposed to raw materials and labor, is growing. This means the value of CEOs will keep going up.

  4. He is invaluable. I had turned on him a little, calling him a caretaker CEO, firing Forestall and correcting his Browlett mistake has given me reason to believe that he might be more than just a bridge to the future.

    Now, he needs to find a good person to run Retail, kick Samsung out of Apple tech and introduce some killer tech (hardware/software) which shows the rest of the industry what they need to copy.

  5. He joins AAPL in 1998, bringing with him years of relevant expertise in his field. Over the next 10-12 years he then distinguishes himself, obviously enough to prove himself to the boss (Steve) and the Board of Directors. He eventually gets promoted to the top job at age 50 or so. He wasn’t handed this job right out of high school. He worked to better himself. He now runs the largest publicly-traded company in the world. A CEO is worth what his company is willing to pay him.

    Now, I’m not supporting cronyism and favoritism among a Board of Directors and their CEO (like Enron or even Congress voting themselves pay raises and other perks I don’t even know about — as elected officials). However, I do disagree with those of you who think it’s “morally wrong” for a CEO to earn more than a certain multiple figure above the salary of “one of his assemblers.” Not all of us can be CEOs. Not all of us may even want to be CEOs! For those of us that do, however, striving to work one’s way up the ranks of a company is what one should aspire for if that is their goal and NOT begrudge the higher-ups in a company for their success.

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