Shareholders have been urged to vote against a $99 million (£73m) pay package awarded to Apple chief executive Tim Cook in 2021.
Advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) wrote to Apple shareholders that it had “significant concerns” over the “design and magnitude of the equity award” made to Cook last year, adding that half of the award “lacks performance criteria”.
The pay package was a massive increase from $14.8m the year before, in part due to Apple’s surging revenues and share price during the pandemic.
Apple is preparing to hold its annual shareholder meeting in the first week of March.
However, shareholders’ votes on the matter would be advisory only, with the company’s board of directors taking the final decision.
Cook, 61, has a personal fortune valued at $2.3bn, according to Forbes, and has been an outspoken critic of social and economic inequality. In 2015 he said he would give away his entire fortune before his death.
Last year he was awarded $3m in salary, as well as $82.3m in stock awards, $12m for hitting targets and another $1.4m for air travel, retirement plan contributions, insurance premiums and other items.
The $630,600 for Cook’s personal security costs and $712,500 for his use of a private jet “significantly exceeded” the expense of such perks for comparable companies last year, the ISS said.
The total package for the year was 1,447 times that of the average Apple employee, according to a January regulatory filing.
Apple has been one of the big winners of the pandemic, even as it has burdened many with increased costs and a precarious financial future.
In January the company reported an all-time record revenue of $123.9bn, up 11 percent from the previous year and higher than analysts’ estimates.
At last year’s meeting 95 percent of shareholders supported the company’s executive compensation scheme.
But firms in the US and the UK are facing increased shareholder resistance to pay and compensation packages.
Last year a record number of S&P 500 companies failed to attract 50 percent support from shareholders for their chief executive pay deals.