Apple CEO Tim Cook’s total 2020 compensation: $296.7 million

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s cash bonus rose 40% last year to $10.7 million, Apple said Tuesday in its annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cook also received a $3 million salary, $470,246 in security costs, and $432,564 for air travel. All in all, Cook’s 2020 pay, excluding vested shares, totaled $14.8 million.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Tim Higgins for The Wall Street Journal:

In addition to his compensation, Mr. Cook had a total of $281.9 million in restricted stock that vested during the year. Those shares were a core part of Mr. Cook’s long-term incentive package that was awarded in 2011 when he became CEO. The decade-long plan’s final tranche vests later this year.

In September, Apple’s board awarded a new long-term equity plan to Mr. Cook with shares that vest from 2023 through 2025, giving him incentive to stay on as CEO through that period. Mr. Cook, 60 years old, joined Apple in 1998.

MacDailyNews Take: $296.7 million/year is $810,656/day, $33,777/hour (every hour of the day and night, not just work hours), $563/minute (every minute), and $9.38/second (every second). In the time it took most of you to read this post to the bottom, Tim Cook received over $2,250.00 in compensation.

CEO compensation, along with that of most of upper management, is obviously out of whack, not just for Tim Cook and Apple, but in general. However, in order to retain quality people, companies have to compete on the field of play as it is. What to do?

It’s easy to understand why critics focus on the gaudy awards of cash and stock that executives take home. And, yes, it’s hard to deny that some bosses get paid a lot more than they deserve. But the structure of compensation is ultimately a lot more important than its level, because it gets to the heart of how managers run companies and create value for shareholders…

There are creative ways — yet simple and easy to implement — to tie executives’ fortunes to the long-term health of their companies. Tying bosses’ pay to the levels of debt at the business, for instance, will dissuade them from taking risks that might alienate creditors. Preventing executives from selling company stock until several years after it’s granted will give them a powerful incentive to think long term. And updating the compensation package to reflect changing conditions in the market and the company will ensure that managers’ interests are always aligned with those of the company and its shareholders.

Alex Edmans, “How to Fix Executive Compensation,” The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2012


  1. That all adds up to Cook will be a billionaire before he retires. Has a non-founder ever become a billionaire by working for a company? I’m thinking Cook will be the first.

    Ballmer comes mind but he was the 30th Microsoft employee and was given ownership right from the start.

    Lots of hedge fund managers have become billionaires but that’s different than industry. Their personal money is at risk for them to make that much.

    I cannot think of another non-owner CEO that became a billionaire.

    1. Hedge fund Managers personal money is at stake – really?? I know of someone who is a hedge fund manager and the funds he manages are those of his clients not him (and his six homes across the world). Maybe I’m wrong but I see hedge fund managers as far less deserving of mega reward packages than CEOs of companies that actually produce things and employ people.

        1. So the biggest loser in US presidential history – senate, congress, his own job and any future in Washington, for two months whinges, fails multiple times in court without once actually offering proof of voter fraud, raising over $200m from ‘your’ pockets but spending none of it, promising to overturn an election he lost because 80m folk hate him, exhorts his cult to March on the Capitol and ‘fight’…which they literally did…
          And then he throws you under a bus to save his sorry ass.
          And you blame BLM
          You are so nucking futs
          …and a total irrelevancy

        1. He’s obviously not with Black Lives Matter. His white life mattered enough that he didn’t get a rubber bullet in the head like anyone other than a right-wing thug would have.

          1. You are tireless in spewing nauseating sanctimony. You’re a big Tim Cook fan, I presume.

            Yesterday’s kerfuffle not have happened had the endless rioting in the summer not been defended and normalized. To pretend that this happened in a vacuum is insane. BLM Marxists took over a police station and burned it to the ground.

            And the Democrats and Democrat-owned corporate media defended it.

        2. There was a comment on the events in this tweet from Tim Cook yesterday on Twitter. As this site reports “Apple” news, I’m sure it’ll show up here. Eventually. You know, because this site doesn’t have a right wing slant at all.

          Oh, wait in “alternative truth” land, he didn’t say it, it was a robot built by commie libruls they paid to tweet in his place. AND the four people that died yesterday were antifa crisis actors. 🙂 I smile, but guarantee that some folks here actually believe one or both. LOL

          Happy Biden Certification day!

          1. Enjoy your pyrrhic victory, based on lies, fraud, and unconstitutional non-legislative voting procedure changes.

            Biden is illegitimate. President Asterisk. And everyone knows it.

            1. You weren’t bothered for the last four years, I guarantee you I won’t be bothered for the next. 😀 And not pyrrhic as it was QUITE worthwhile for this victor.

              President Joe Biden, brought to you by Republicans that had enough of Trump!

            2. Apparently you missed something, too: the response by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State showing that the alleged disparity only appeared because Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) and a few others had not yet uploaded all of their voter history data to the SURE website at the time they released the vote totals. Once all the data was uploaded, the disparity disappeared.


            3. My prior post contained a link that was to a Twitter account that has been permanently suspended. I do apologize for that. So, you won’t be able to see any of the tweets sent by @realDonaldTrump. Not sure how important that is to you.


      1. If you are going to call somebody an apologist for something, you need to back it up. When did Tim Cook ever utter a word of apology for human rights violations in China?

  2. I guess you could scrape by with that amount. Best move from Compaq Tim ever made. Tim Cook richly deserved our ire on the Mac Pro debacle. Even when finally released it’s now only going to be a short time before a major architecture change is happening and new models reflecting that. Well at least with my Apple stock now it assuages our old pain. So I guess Tim can stay, 🙂

  3. No human deserves such gross compensation. Adman’s focus eggregiously ignores laborers so anti-labor bias is baked into his advice and should be taken with a full railcar of salt. His dwells on markets, management, bosses, markets, creditors, business, profits, investors, and executives — all words in the Capitalist lexicon — to measure the level of executive compensation. Bring in words to reflect the wellbeing of workers.
    Taxes are used to try to prevent oligarchs, not to fund gov. expenses. A solution is proportionally higher taxation as income rises and the elimination of horribly high deductions and bonuses and should be based on the company’s responsibility to improving the commons to benefit the general welfare of the community.

    1. Hey Dingleberry! If it wasn’t for capitalism YOU and Apple wouldn’t exist. Yes there are flaws and sometimes regulations are necessary. As Winston Churchill said: “Capitalism is an awful system, but it still is better than anything else.” (I don’t have it phrased exactly, but it’s close enough and I think you get the point.)

  4. Close, but closer is:

    “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.”

    In a similar fashion, capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all the others.”


    “No human deserves such gross compensation.”

    Maybe, maybe not. Who in the World is positioned to determine what’s deserving? You are a MMT debt-embracing mind, it could be easily posited the debt//inflation cycle and the the Fed “controlling” the spikes has a lot to do with the asset-rich becoming more asset-rich.

    Though the wage chasm is problematic, is his gain wrought by illegal means? Is the Fed acting within its charter?

    1. The gain is legal and the Fed operates within its charter; The rich and the corporation wrote the charter and laws to make them legal. And you embrace the benefits of MMT yet deplore its theory.

      1. Because I “defend” him with questions of the law and The Fed’s charter, doesn’t mean I think CEO’s pay isn’t a crazy/distasteful levels. (I do find it EXTREMELY challenging to logically name a proper CEO salary, though.) Nor does it mean I “embrace” the beni’s of MMT.

        I may benefit from the effects of MMT, because that’s the system in which I live…one of ongoing spending that brings deep debt spikes that are chased by inflation. It’s this exact process that makes holders of wealth, even wealthier and those w/o wealth/assets more financially distanced. MMT is a critical component supporting the spending, debt, dearth cycle of instability. Any system that “looks” and yearns for inflation is simply cock-eyed. Who in their right mind would advocate the devaluation of their currency?

        Yes, the rich and the corps wrote The Fed charter. Should it be a surprise…it’s often these sectors that have fingerprints on every social order?
        Per the Fed, it’s a BAD charter and the source of the problem. Besides, it’s far from being followed as designed. With a 95% devaluation of the currency since The Fed’s inception, it’s reasonable to say, the system on which we are dependent, is deficient.

        It’s interesting to me that you champion MMT…which is linked to “The Man.” It’s ordered and dependent on those that have…seemingly with benevolence for those that don’t have. To reiterate, it propels those that have and with “gifts” it’s perpetuates the position of the “don’t haves.”

        Besides, it’s not a system of freedom…at all.

  5. What roasts my nuts is all the prickheads who admonish the 1%’ers from Wall Street or certain Big Business, but their pie holes are shut air tight on certain other people and industries, Hollywood… Musicians… Athletes… News Media… Some Politicians… SILICON VALLEY! Which is why I have no problem telling that debris where they can go when they complain. Cook can give a million dollars to almost every adult person in the USA on just one year compensation, but not a peep from those who scream and holler when someone from Wall Street receives the same.

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