Apple boss Tim Cook refuses $US75m in dividends

Apple CEO Tim Cook

UPDATE May 26: Admittedly he'd not hurting (see below). But Apple CEO Tim Cook has gone up in investors estimation by refusing around $US75 million in dividends he is entitled to from his employee shares.

All Things D discovered the company's latest SEC filing includes the paragraph:

At Mr. Cook’s request, none of his restricted stock units will participate in dividend equivalents. Assuming a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share over the vesting periods of his 1.125 million outstanding restricted stock units, Mr. Cook will forego approximately $75 million in dividend equivalent value.

Apple boss's half-billion pay package

May 22: Apple boss Tim Cook's 2011 remuneration was the highest of any CEO in the US, according to a Wall Street Journal pay packet survey.

Mr Cook's base remuneration was a modest 90 cents.

But when he officially signed on as CEO in August last year, succeeding Steve Jobs, he was also granted 1 million Apple shares.

At the time, the stock was worth a healthy $US376.2 million.

Today it's worth $US530 million.

The bad news: Mr Cook can't sell half the shares before 2016, and the other half before 2021.

Further, in its 2011 proxy statement, Apple says it considers the shares Mr Cook's compensation for the next 10 years.

To tide him over until 2016, Mr Cook has the $US59 million he earned in 2010 - much of it from a special bonus for his time filling in for Steve Jobs.

The second-highest paid CEO was Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who had total compensation of $US76 million (all in stock options).

Mr Cook has a reputation as a logistics nerd and bean counter.

But in his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson related that the (then chief operating officer) had his own quirks - and could be as hard as Mr Jobs.

He notes a 2009 Fortune profile that said:

"Though he's capable of mirth, Cook's default facial expression is a frown, and his humor is of the dry variety. In meetings he's known for long, uncomfortable pauses, when all you hear is the sound of his tearing the wrapper of the energy bars he constantly eats."

And Mr Isaacson notes that:

Early in his tenure, Cook was told of a problem with one of Apple's Chinese suppliers.

"This is really bad", he said. "Someone should really be in China driving this."

30 minutes later he looked at an operations executive sitting at the table and unemotionally asked, "What are you still doing here?"

The executive stood up, drove directly to San Francisco Airport, and bought a ticket to China.

He became one of Cook's top deputies.

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1 Comment & Question

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

A lot of companies in NZ that have been struggling since the recession could do a lot to learn from the business principals used by Apple.
Considering that virtually everybody in the business and tech world considered Apple and its operating system to be irrelevant back in the late 90's.... many of those companies are struggling to adapt.

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