World’s largest sovereign wealth fund to vote against Apple CEO Tim Cook’s pay package

Later this week at Apple’s annual meeting of shareholders, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Norges Bank Investment Management, the world’s largest, plans to vote against Apple’s compensation plan, including CEO Tim Cook’s pay package.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Photo: Getty Images)
Apple CEO Tim Cook (Photo: Getty Images)

Joe Woelfel for Barron’s:

Norway’s $1.3 trillion oil fund will vote against the pay policies of Apple, including the compensation and bonuses package awarded to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook last year, after proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services urged shareholders to reject it.

Cook received compensation of nearly $100 million in 2021. Pay for the tech giant’s CEO was largely made up of restricted stock worth $82.3 million, a cash bonus of $12 million, a $3 million salary.

“The board is responsible for attracting the right CEO and setting appropriate remuneration. A substantial proportion of annual remuneration should be provided as shares that are locked in for five to ten years, regardless of resignation or retirement,” said Norges Bank Investment Management, the advisor to Government Pension Fund Global, which holds a stake of 1.03% in Apple.

“The board should provide transparency on total remuneration to avoid unacceptable outcomes. The board should ensure that all benefits have a clear business rationale.”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier this month:

Apple could do just as well or, likely, better, perhaps far better, for considerably less outlay at the CEO position.

• A visionary CEO would make the company more appealing to a broader customer base than one who’s not.

• A charismatic CEO with stage presence would make the company more appealing to a broader customer base than one who lacks both attributes.

• A publicly apolitical CEO would make the company more appealing to a broader customer base than one who’s pigeonholed himself and, to a significant degree, unfortunately, Apple’s brand.

I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff because that was just a personal thing. — Steve Jobs, August 2004

(See also: Apple-backed Southern Poverty Law Center wracked in turmoil, called a ‘con’ for ‘bilking gullible liberals’ – March 24, 2019)

To be perfectly clear: The problem isn’t Tim Cook espousing political views and donating to political causes. It’s still a free country in most places. The problem is his very questionable practice of repeatedly hijacking Apple’s brand and capital to do so.

Even with you agree 100% with everything Tim Cook says and does (which, unless you are Tim Cook, is likely an issue in and of itself), all you have to do is simply imagine that Apple’s CEO is someone else — say, Peter Thiel — and that he is also prone to using Apple’s brand and established goodwill to espouse and promote their own political beliefs…

We’re pretty sure that Steve Jobs did not intend for Apple to be turned into a personal soapbox for whoever happens to be occupying in the CEO’s office at the moment.MacDailyNews, June 26, 2018

• A pragmatic CEO would have a more diversified supply chain and assembly points, so as to not be beholden to the whims of an authoritarian country locked under single-party control with a very poor human rights record and a penchant for censorship.

• Any CEO who would approve of even floating the idea of, much less intending to implement, a scheme of on-device photo scanning, without user permission or control, is not fit to be Apple CEO.

As an aside: We have never voted for Tim Cook in the Election of Directors nor will we vote for any subsequent Apple CEO in the Election of Directors. A CEO should not be on the BoD; too many conflicts of interest.

Apple’s proposals, proxy statement, and more information can be found here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple will host the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on March 4, 2022 at 9:00 am P.T. in a virtual format. Apple shareholders can access the meeting by visiting on the day of the meeting. The bank, broker, or other organization that holds your Apple shares will be issuing or has already issued proxy materials to shareholders with a unique control number. Shareholders use need that unique control number to access the meeting and vote during the meeting.

Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!

Shop The Apple Store at Amazon.


    1. AC, would one more make it his 8th or 9th bankruptcy? Anyway he’s not far from a heart attack, so I’d caution against selecting any obese septuagenerian as a leader of anything more important than the local Bingo club.

      The Apple board is too weak to remove Cook, and based on his dramatic overpay, they’re not looking for a replacement. Cook is happy to be able to pocket investors money without having to do anything but the most obvious incremental improvements every few years, or in the case of Mac software, maybe a couple times per decade.

      But MDN and its minions aren’t specifying their true issue with Cook. If the unsatisfied downtrodden sufferers at MDN could articulate how the richest corporation in the world isn’t reaching enough people, that would be interesting. The most prominent and uncivil people here sound more interested in style than results. They must be billionaire geniuses to know how Apple is being so badly mismanaged. They are simply too chickenshit to say what they mean.

      1. All good points, but I don’t say so as a fan.

        And just think of all the laundered money commissions he would make on this one as he bankrupts it!

  1. MDN flogging a dead horse again with a list of dream requirement_abilities not ever bestowed on a single person, anywhere.
    TC will retire once the right person is identified and who wants the job. Not before.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.