Tim Cook makes $145 million in 2016, blows CEO competition out of water

Apple CEO Tim Cook took home the most pay for a CEO of an S&P 500 company in 2016 by some distance after amassing a whopping $145 million, according to Bloomberg.

Despite making a paltry $8.75 million in salary and cash awards, Cook brought home $136 million in vested stocks he received in 2011 when he took over as CEO from co-founder Steve Jobs. Cook’s vested stock alone was $30 million more than what the second-highest-paid CEO, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, earned in total.

Bloomberg’s report tallied 25 of the highest-paid CEOs who run S&P 500 companies, according to their annual SEC filings. The list heavily skews toward technology, health care and media CEOs.

Several Silicon Valley CEOs made the list with Cook and Hastings, such as Oracle CEO Safra Catz ($85.92 million) and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff ($85.03 million)

Hastings, Catz and Benioff made most of their earnings by exercising their options, or cashing out their stock for a certain market price. Hastings in particular hit a jackpot with exchanging his stock options, making $105.39 million in 2016. He also made $900,000 in salary.

Cook earned his money differently. He relied on his 1.26 million vested Apple shares he received from Apple’s board when he became CEO in 2011. 980,000 of the vested stock was contingent on Cook finishing out his first five years as Apple CEO. The rest, around 280,000 shares, was vested on Apple’s three-year total shareholder return relative to the S&P 500 Index.

Cook has now made more than $320 million from the 2011 vested shares award, according to Bloomberg.

The 56-year-old Cook is famous for his relatively modest lifestyle. He lives in a four-bedroom Palo Alto house he bought for $1.9 million in 2010—after selling more than $100 million of Apple stock right before. He has no kids or partner.

Cook said in a 2015 interview with Fortune that he plans to donate all his wealth to charitable causes.

New: Another Silicon Valley CEO, Google’s Sundar Pichai, took home nearly $200 million in compensation last year, but because he is CEO of Google and not its parent company Alphabet, he was not included in Bloomberg’s analysis. End new

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook watches as members of the media check out the new MacBook Pro at a press event held at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)



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  • jameskatt

    TIm Cook is totally worth it to Apple. He is CEO for life.

  • Paul Kyl

    How did Merc miss Googler Sundar Pichai’s 200Mil paycheck for 2016 ?

  • Is he able to afford to live in the bay at $145 ?

  • Love2Ride2

    How does someone possibly justify such a salary? To receive multi-millions EVER YEAR. Just that windfall alone over a lifetime is extreme, but this is just one year’s pay (albeit a big chunk due to the options).

    Problem is, Americans view this as great motivation to “work hard and get ahead.” But it’s a ruse. The windfall isn’t materializing for 90% of Americans. What it results in is a rich family ends up owning as much as the bottom 40% of the nation (the Walton family). Is the American Dream to now own everything at the expense of the country?

    Think of all the middle class salaries that could have paid…

    1,812 $80k salaries, to be exact. And each of those $80k salaries would be pumped right back into the economy, save some to savings (but not much). Whereas this salary just goes to some hedge fund manager and is invested who knows where – or it sits as Apple stock, benefiting only the company.

    And his tax burden? Paltry, at best. Far less tax paid than if this chunk had been paid out in 1,812 $80k salaries! That’s a slap in the face, for sure!