Apple Chief Tim Cook Sees Pay Swell To $100m In 2021

The 2021 pay of Apple chief executive Tim Cook was 1,447 times that of the average Apple employee, at nearly $100 million (£74m).

The company said in a regulatory filing that while Cook’s base salary of $3m remained the same as in 2020, stock awards greatly enlarged his compensation.

The iPhone maker has seen soaring demand during the pandemic, and saw its market value briefly surpass $3tn earlier this month, the first US company to reach that milestone.

The company’s revenue rose more than 30 percent to $365.82bn for its fiscal 2021.

Apple Store at The Grove in Los Angeles. Image credit: Apple


Last year Cook received $82.3m in stock awards, $12m for hitting Apple’s annual targets and $1.4m for private air travel, 401(k) plan, insurance premiums and other items, Apple said.

In total he was awarded $98.7m, up from $14.8m in 2020.

His earnings in 2021 were 1,447 times Apple’s median pay of $68,254, the company said, adding that it had altered the median figure due to changes in hiring and compensation.

Cook’s pay in 2020 was 256 times that of the average Apple employee, at $57,783, Apple said.

Cook took over as Apple chief executive in August 2011 when co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down months before his death. The company’s stock price has risen more than 1,000 percent since then.

In September Cook received 333,987 restricted stock units, his first stock grant since 2011, as part of an equity plan, and will be eligible to receive additional units next year.

CEO salaries

He told Fortune magazine in 2015 that he plans to donate his wealth to charity.

A report by the Economic Policy Institute found that the compensation of top US chief executives rose about 60 percent faster than the stock market from 1978 to 2020, growing a total of 1,322 percent during that period.

By comparison, the annual compensation of the typical worker rose only 18 percent during that period, the study found.

Even as its fortunes have risen over the past two years, Apple, like fellow tech giants Amazon, Facebook/Meta and Google, has faced increasing regulatory pressure.

Last May the European Commission charged Apple with violating antitrust rules over its App Store rules for music streaming services, while an October 2020 report by the US House of Representatives recommended structural changes to the tech industry to limit the market power of companies such as Apple.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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