Apple's chief executive Tim Cook is the best paid CEO of 2011

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook is the best paid CEO of 2011
Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook has one of the toughest jobs in tech by being the successor to Steve Jobs. So far, he’s done a tremendous job from what we can see, with Apple stock soaring in value, but don’t worry - he’s well reimbursed for that. In 2011, Cook was the best paid chief executive by a huge margin with a yearly salary of $378 million. To put things in perspective, the runner-up, Oracle’s Larry Ellison has a yearly remuneration of $76 million in both shares and bonuses. Very interestingly, another person to make it in the top five is Motorola Mobility CEO (now, former CEO) Sanjay Jha with a whopping $46.6 million.

Virtually all of that money comes from stock - one million Apple shares, to be exact. Don’t rush into conclusion about what he can do with the money, though. The Apple CEO cannot sell half of them in the next five years, and the other half by 2021, so this will keep Cook tied to the performance of Apple. 

The base salary of Cook is much less than that at a mere $900,000 and bonuses of almost as much. Among other things, Steve Jobs was also known for his salary of $1 per year, so comparatively Tim Cook is earning much more money.

source: WSJ

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59 Comments

2. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I would only imagine so...Steve Jobs pretty much made him his heir apparent during his second tenure with the company. I figure Apple wanted to do anything it could to keep him around. Still, I'm having a big problem with how well these CEOs are paid compared to their underlings. Not just Apple, but with most business. I keep thinking these guys make more in one year than I'd spend my entire life. Imagine how many jobs could be created if they didn't have to be richer than God. If they took a salary that will make them well off, but that was realistic for one human to live comfortably without being ridiculous...but I'm sure thinking like that makes me a communist...

3. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

They follow Gordon Gecko's motto... "Greed is good". I believe these creatures are to today's world what the royalty of Europe was in the 17th century. They want to own everything, have all the gold,control the universe itself. And the peasants??? Let them eat cake!!!

4. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

No that does not make you a communist, just a reasonable human being. Honestly, any reasonable person coule live comfortably the rest of their life on a fraction of what he got paid, stock options or not. That goes for many CEOs. The sad part is, there are CEOs and former CEOs of other companies that ran their companies into the ground, and STILL got a huge paycheck. I'm not saying people should be getting handouts with the money, but that money could go to paying many honest workers a decent wage, making it beneficial to ALL. That's my 2 cents, for what it's worth....

7. JeffdaBeat unregistered

That I agree with. I remember when Sprint got rid of Gary Foresee as their CEO. He got paid millions just to leave. I think that was my first sticker shock moment of seeing just how ridiculous these people are getting paid. Granted, I do think the more important your position is, the more you should be paid...but when you're richer than God (phrase I use when you make more than you and your family could spend in a lifetime)...it's just ridiculous. No there shouldn't be hand outs, but imagine if you as a CEO made 2 million a year. What would the other 20 million buy in terms of jobs. I've seen some make 60 to 100 million. What if you paid your employees more. Chances are, they will stay in their jobs and with their companies for the rest of their lives because "What's better than what we got here?" But it seems like that's a thought that went away with the early to mid 20th century...

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i dont care what they get paid as a CEO as long as its in line with what the company makes. If the company is profiting a million a year.. or worse.. losing money, the CEO shouldnt be making 7 figure paychecks. On the other hand what would be appropriate for a company like apple? Cooke ISNT getting paid what they said up top. He gets 900k a year, and he gets to have the OPTION to pull stocks for money after 5 years or so. But what would be appropriate? They have more money than the US Gov. By the same ratio, Cook could be getting paid like 150 million a year in true pay checks and the company wouldnt blink. Its true there are some jack asses out there that make bad headlines for the rest of the CEOs, but the reality is that to become a CEO you either had to put your entire life on the line financially and emotionally to start up a business and make something of it, which entitles you to make as much as your company can afford (which many small start up CEOs make less than their employees.).... OR you had to go to school to get a masters degree which takes a lot of time and money.. then work your way up. People dont start as CEOs. They work their way up. It takes time. All I hear when people cry about CEO pay is jealousy. The vast vast vast majority of them had to make a lot of right and hard decisions and sacrifices in their life to get that high on the totem pole. Most of them work regular 80+ hour weeks. And every decision they make has thousands of people's lives on the line. That is an extremely high stress job. Ever watch how fast a president ages in his first term from the stress? Thats what happens to many CEOs. You always get paid better to work with your mind than your back. Thats life.

22. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

You complain about Foxconn worker pay, but are ok with CEO's making obscene salaries. Can you stay consistent with anything you say?

26. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I agree that CEO's jobs are far more than sit on the top and let other people make most of the decisions for you. I think that tends to be the general public's thought on what it takes to be a CEO. And yes, they should be paid well to do what they do. When folks talk about how much politicians make, I counter it with how their decisions effect a population of 300 million people. They should be paid a lot for what they do. CEO's another executives are the same. But at what point does that payment become excessive and ridiculous? I think that's what bothers me. I'm not saying a person shouldn't be well off. Hell, if you work that hard, you shouldn't have to worry about anything financially for the rest of your life. Even if you didn't build the company up and you're occupying the seat...a lot of responsibility, both direct and indirect, falls on your shoulders. But being paid more money than you or even your descendants could spend in a life time is just kind of ridiculous. I saw a chart detailing the difference in pay that CEO's got relative to their underlings years ago and today...CEO's pay have sky rocketed while their employees stayed the same given inflation. Does one person really need that much money? Couldn't the company use it to reward their employees while still paying their CEO's well? I dunno...I think that was the one thing that bothered me about working for AT&T. Year after year, they worked tirelessly to find a way to make it harder for us to hit our quota and to lower the actual payout of that quota. And we worked damned hard to keep the face of the company, even as AT&T spit on their customers with terrible customer service and, quite honestly, a terrible network. But De La Vega as well as Stephenson got hefty checks regardless. Yes, the leader should get more...but at what point is it just ridiculous?

32. itiswhatitis

Posts: 423; Member since: Jan 23, 2012

No pay's ridiculous,there always a backstage dramas as to why they get that much, that common think it's just 'ridiculous'!

35. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the only thing I can say about CEO pay is if someone doesn't like how much they get paid then figure out what it takes to be CEO, BECOME ONE, and then lower your pay. its easy as hell to bitch about it but when push comes to shove, if you can wiggle a few extra million in YOUR contract negotiations, you would. I disagree with huge pay outs to CEOs that leave a company in the red and run with a golden parachute but in all honesty its part of the contract that both the CEO and the company agreed to. if the company tried to renig on that contract then they would open. up themselves to huge lawsuits and be in even worse shape. the only way to change it is to change contract negotiations ..which is going to take a long time to filter through. there is no reason Sanjay got 40x more than Cook, other than the fact that his contract required fulfillment for him to walk out the door. pay discrepancy is pretty wide.. no doubt. but that change has to come from within the company, not from the government gun. as the media continues to play the "evil CEO" card over and over to convince people that the free market is bad and government is the answer, they are hurting their own arguements from too much scrutiny. its putting a lot of pressure on many companies to clean up their act themselves. it just takes time.

14. akshaye.shenoi

Posts: 24; Member since: Apr 16, 2012

I bet if tomorrow you start earning that much you won't give a rat's a** about what you just said. I mean, sure you'll hate this comment now, but isn't that the reality?

18. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

No, the reality is that some of us, although surprising to you do actually care about the rest of the humans in this little blue planet. I for instance would still live a comfortable life while actively using the endless millions of dollars to feed starving little children in Africa. Why, is there something wrong with that???

29. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

people have been feeding starving kids in Africa and they keep having more kids... I guess none of you see a pattern there.. but good intentionss though

30. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

You are the perfect poster child for the urgent need for birth control.

42. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

What the heck does that mean? Please clarify.

46. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

jmoita things helps his concious feeding kids from Africa for years and starving kids is on the rise...because they keep having kids.. if he truly wants to help.. educated their parents to not have more kids if they live in poverty,... that in the long run will help them than raising one child and that child will multiply once the it reaches its teenage years..

48. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

G-king...you're my guy, but that is the silliest thing I've seen here on PA. Youre basically saying instead of feeding hungry people, we should tell their parents to stop f*cking??? Do you really think that's the answer? Has that worked here in the US...no it hasn't. People are going to love each other and even make love no matter what their financial status may be. Telling people to "keep it in your pants" isn't going to stop world hunger and you know that. I don't even know why you would type something like that! And what's so wrong about people being and wanting other people to be humane to one another? Why are so many people here so offended with the concept of humanity?

33. akshaye.shenoi

Posts: 24; Member since: Apr 16, 2012

Ohh so you're a humanitarian? Tell me, what have you done so far for humanity? And according to you, billionaires shouldn't exist. They shouldn't get what they've worked hard for? You may never know he must have donated a lot to charity. This is just ridiculous. You can't call a person bad just coz he's earning a lot.

37. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

A billion dollars is far more than any one human being should ever need, even going generations down the family line. Also, I saw nothing there saying Cook is a bad person, just that his pay is excessive, which I agree with. We all have our opinions, and one of the best things about the U.S. and other countries that allow free speech is that we can talk, disagree, and life goes on.

54. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

He's no humanitarian. he's a ZOMBIE like all others. He think CEOs deserve millions of dollars and doesn't realize he's giving his money to Appple and the CEO

38. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

99% of tje money you "giveto the poor and starving" in Africa actually ends up in the hands of warlords who just buy more guns to kill people with. unless your directly handing out money, your not making a positive impact.. didn't you ever wonder how a warlord of an area that is so dirt poor that they don't colletively have a dollar.. yet the warlord quickly becomes super rich? from collecting all your donations to the poor..

17. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

well said bro..

5. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Why not when there's people who are ready to pay abnormaly foolish price for the products.

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

yea, i was gonna mention that Cook didnt actually get paid any of that. Thats all long term stock that he cant sell. One bad year can wipe that out. He gets paid less than a million straight salary, which for a company that makes as much as it does, is pennies.

11. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Oh, poor baby Cook. I feel so sorry for him.

15. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

remix, I usually agree with you but not this time. The article says, he can't sell half before 5 years are up, but half is currently worth $189 million....... So, he can sell enough to get paid more money than he needs the rest of his life right now. Oh poor baby he is so underpaid!*sarcasm drips and puddles on the floor* I'm sure his job isn't easy, but really, how much money do you truly need other than to say "I'M F'N RICH!"?

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

"The Apple CEO cannot sell half of them in the next five years, and the other half by 2021, so this will keep Cook tied to the performance of Apple. " He cant sell a single stock for the first 5 years. Being "worth" something and having that money in the bank are not the same things. Im worth well into 6 figures with all my property and other stuff, but my bank account sure as heck doesnt reflect it. Overpaid/underpaid is subjective. Apple makes more money than everyone yet their CEO gets paid 1/40th of what motorola's CEO got paid, and Moto is running in the red. dont fall into the trap of pay jealousy, because thats what your reply is. How much money would it take for you to have to put up with steve job's insanity day in and day out and kiss his butt soo long and so hard that he named you CEO? I'd say thats worth more than 900k a year. BTW, Steve-o paid himself BILLIONS in stocks to keep his taxes low. His 1 dollar paycheck wasnt for the good of the company, it was to avoid paying nearly 40% in taxes, which is what cook is going to be paying on his million a year.

34. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

First of all, don't assume you know that my post is "pay jealousy", because you don't know me at all, so you can't possibly know what perspective I am writing from. Second, as another poster has put it, some of us do actually care about other people and would put a significant amount of money to good works, such as helping education, etc., once we have enough money to be secure. I for one do not need to drive a Bentley, Mercedes, or some other expensive car, own multiple houses in exclusive locations, or any such extravagance to be happy. So many of our issues today come from the ME ME ME mentality most of our society have now, IMO. Third, I wouldn't have put up with Steve Job's insanity, because quite honestly, it would not be worth it to me. It might be to you, but not to me. Careful what you assume my friend.

9. kabukijoe

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

Disgusting... Nobody, I repeat NOBODY needs to make that much money. I don't care about who you are, what you do or who you work for.

10. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

Actually, I think he is underpaid. Thank God such giants of industry priviledge us with their existence. Proof the Free markets, without interference from big government create wealth.

16. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

Underpaid? Seriously? Please tell me how creating the vast majority of the wealth in such a small number of people is helpful to ANYONE but those that are rich? Again, I don't advocate handouts to anyone capable of working a job, but this pay structure for CEOs is just crazy.

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