Apple’s Tim Cook paid over 1,400 times the average worker in 2021

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s pay in 2021 was 1,447 times that of the average employee at the tech giant, a filing with the U.S. CEO on Thursday showed, fueled by stock awards that helped him earn a total of nearly $100 million.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook


In 2021, the median pay for employees was $68,254, Apple said, adding it had selected a new median employee for comparison due to changes in hiring and compensation.

The median pay in 2020 was $57,783 and the pay ratio was 256 times Cook’s salary.

Cook, whose salary remained at $3 million, received $82.3 million in stock awards, $12 million for hitting Apple’s targets and $1.4 million for air travel, 401(k) plan, insurance premiums and others.

In total, he received $98.7 million compared with $14.8 million in 2020.

For Corporate America, CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker in 2020, a report by the Economic Policy Institute showed.

MacDailyNews Take: When compensation is tied mainly to stock performance, giving incentive that creates possible benefit for shareholders, and the stock price rises strongly, hitting and exceeding compensation targets, these things happen.

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  1. The compensation is not the problem. The incompetence of putting all iPhone production in China and others hostile places and none in the us shows a failure to understand diversification of supply.

      1. Tax-incentivised or even tax-free tech zones in the US for manufacturing, Australia, other parts of Asia, tax-friendly places in Europe, and both within South America and India, where Apple’s manufacturers have built other plants. It could have been done far earlier and would have cost more but would have given the tech industry diversification of supply. It’s happening already with Intel building two fabs in Arizona and two more in Europe, Samsung spending $200 billion and Sony and TSMC building a plant together, if memory serves, but so much more needs to be done. It’s finally happening but it doesn’t help us with the chip shortage and manufacturing diversity problems we have now.

  2. Steve Jobs was paid $1 per year + stock after his return to Apple. Could this article be evidence of a mega shift in the ethos at ? From insanely great products to insanely great profits? Hmm 🤔

  3. Woke Timmy takes delight in telling others how to live – how does he justify his pay when many Americans are struggling? (I personally have no problem with it, good for him).

  4. He Delivered, he got compensated… simple as that! And absolutely, ceo compensations should be tied to Stock performance and share holder value.. That is exactly how Steve earned his billions!

    The rest of the BS above is just naive rant !

    1. Free Market, you are correct.

      I don’t begrudge Tim Cook’s success. It’s fair to say Tim Cook has earned his pay. However, Cook’s leadership has brought fundamental changes to Apple as a company and how they do business. Those who measure Apple’s success by market share and profits certainly have billions of reasons to appreciate Cook’s leadership. However, those who see Apple’s success in terms of quality of products (hardware & software), customer service, commitment to privacy, democratization of information, and empowering people to use their Apple products to achieve great things in their own lives aren’t nearly as excited. Apple has clearly changed at its core. Some will say the change is for the better. Some feel Apple has become a caricature of itself to everyone’s detriment. Larger isn’t always better. Sometimes, less is more.

  5. Risk is rewarded as is hard work. The average wage is not a good indicator of the breakdown of jobs. There are many employees in the Apple stores that just stand there, rarely able to answer a real question. They are paid according to the work they do and the impact they make on the company’s bottom line. Others work in factories, with no discernible skills coming into the job. They’re paid accordingly. There are university degreed PhDs coming up with solutions to difficult problems after they have spent years of time and money learning. They are also paid accordingly. And there are smart investors who can glimpse the future, risking their savings. Apple rewards them according to their monetary input. Sounds like everything is working well. Thanks Tim, for all you and your company do for the rest of us.

  6. There was a guy…what’s his name….oh, Bill Gates. He earned so much money he would not be able to spend in his life time. So, what did he do with it after building a luxurious cottage on lake front and all that? He and his wife formed a charity foundation to help fund various humanitarian causes such as Aids research, helping kids in underdeveloped regions in the world or helping the venture that is trying to build a portable nuclear reactor etc etc. Yet, he never promoted his name or made any public grandstanding on social issues, just quiet and effective help for the society we live. I never liked him personally but compared with…..

      1. Yes, that Bill Gates. His foundation is known to have many achievements, failure or success. My comment was more about the man (who made no SJW grandstanding) vs. you know who. But you never know, the you know who might actually execute his SJW grandstanding after his retirement. Just do not use Apple platform any more, then I am OK.

  7. Tim Cook took over from Steve Jobs about 10 years ago. At that time, Apple’s market cap was about $377 Billion dollars. In ten years, under Tim Cook’s leadership (a leadership that MDNs actively sought to change thru their editorial comments), Apple’s market cap has just reached $3 Trillion dollars!

    Not too bad (grin) and since his earnings are primarily based upon stock dividends, well, that is how capitalism works.

    For example, in 1991, Apple introduced a superb laptop called the PowerBook 170 and a fully maxed out version sold for $4,599. Had a person invested $4,599 in Apple Stock instead of in a fantastic (at the time) innovative and powerful Apple laptop, his stock would now be worth?

    Hey, I don’t know?! Grin. But the Wall Street Journal recently posted that if one invested $1000 at the 1980 IPO date, that $1000 would be worth $1.2 million dollars today. So, I am not a math wizard but I’m guessing that had a person purchased that $4600 laptop, he would now have a computer best used for landfill instead of perhaps $5 million plus in the bank. That is how Capitalism works.

  8. Tim Cook may be one of the few CEO’s on the planet who actually earned that amount of pay. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m not too happy with Zuckerberg’s pay only because I don’t care much for the company. I’m sure he’s earned whatever money he’s made as he’s a pretty shrewd character by turning air (personal user data) into platinum.

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