Apple CEO Tim Cook No.2 on 2019 highest paid list at $133.7 million

Elon Musk, the space and electric-car titan, was the highest-paid executive in the U.S. for 2019 with $595.3 million, significantly more than No.2 Apple CEO Tim Cook hauled in, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index.

The vast sum comes thanks to the pay deal he scored a couple of years ago: A promise of tens of billions of dollars if Tesla became one of the world’s most valuable firms.

Mission accomplished.

Anders Melin and Cedric Sam for Bloomberg:

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Rightly or wrongly, Wall Street CEOs are still excoriated as greedy fat cats who exemplify everything that’s wrong with executive pay.

But look around corporate America these days, and you’ll find any number of executives, particularly in tech, taking home far more than those bankers ever made — even during the boom years before the financial crisis — without a fraction of the scrutiny or the outrage.

Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook ranks second, the index shows, mostly thanks to an equity grant he got in 2011. Tom Rutledge, the CEO of Charter Communications Inc., is third. Only one person from finance—Blackstone Group Inc. Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Gray—makes the top 10, with $107.6 million.

By contrast, the top-paid bank CEO was Wells Fargo & Co.’s Charlie Scharf, whose 2019 package was worth $55.2 million by the end of the year, according to the index.

Bloomberg News: Highest Paid CEOs and Executives in 2019

Four of the top 10 on the Bloomberg Pay Index are tech executives: Cook, Alphabet Inc.’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft Corp.’s Satya Nadella and Robert Swan of Intel Corp. (Cook has said he will donate most of his money to charity.)

MacDailyNews Take: To give some additional perspective on the level of out-of-whackness: $133.7 million per year works out to $64,278.85 per hour. $595.3 million per year is $286,201.92 per hour. A U.S. Senator is paid $174,000 per year (not counting kickbacks and other assorted graft). The average earned by a plumber in California per year is almost exactly what Tim Cook made in the last hour. Said plumber will have to work for 4.5 years to make what Elon Musk made in the last hour.


  1. That’s what happens when an executive whose compensation is directly or indirectly tied to the stock price leads a company that was already worth a trillion dollars to a 50% increase in just one year.

  2. I do not believe in such gross disparity of income, no matter the contract, and no matter that he Cook promises “PROMISES” to give it away; A non-binding promise can be broken at the whim of the monarch, and at will as he judges the circumstances to change, so his promise is likely situational.
    And Musk, of course, has a high income largely, in my opinion, because he is skilled at getting Socialist grants from the gov., not from Capitalist profits which are low or maybe non-existent, AKA “negative income.” lol
    I believe in a 28th Amendment that would prohibit outlandish income, and regulate it via a fair and balanced reappropriatory legal mechanism. It will not happen because the wealthy write the laws for the legislator who, as is mentioned, the latter gets kickbacks from the corporation and from international oligarchs such as Cook and Musk.

    But at least Cook earned it according to Capitalist doctrine.

  3. Simply go back to the Eisenhower tax brackets where such income would fall in a 90% bracket. That era was the most prosperous in American history. Rather than take money out of their companies the corporate leadership would invest in expansion and workers. Time for a wealth tax at a minimum.

    1. Those high and equitable Eizenhowerian tax brackets, I read, were instituted to prevent the creation, and growth, of existing oligarchs and local dukes, to remove money from their hoards, not to raise funds to pay for the gov.’s expenses; The federal gov. gets its money from the Federal Reserve Bank by the Congress’s telling the Fed to simply print more but, in the modern sense, the creation of money is done by a simple ledger entry. Taxing the wealthy up to 90% slows down inflating the prices of goods and services, thus protecting and actually growing the Middle Class.

      1. Steve Jobs did not taking a salary and taking stock is an excellent example of pure capitalism. He was rewarded based on productivity and results. No bullshit inflated salary getting paid for whatever happened.

  4. Good for Mr Cook! However, for such a socialy aware and outspoken advocate of the downtrodden I find his hypocrisy disgusting. In fact, all of those names need to do some serious soul searching. If you want to make money, awesome no problem. When you start spewing shit out of your facehole and talking smack against everything socially acceptable then your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  5. Tim Cook may be the highest paid hired hand (not owner or founder of a company) that makes a big difference in your ultimate power/richness to run/head a company you will never equal Bezos, Zuckerberg or Elon in power..

    But still doing the best job as CEO in the world today.

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