What if your boss cut your compensation by 99 percent? Apple CEO Tim Cook's pay took a 99 percent dive this year. Last year, he was the highest-paid CEO in the tech industry. What a difference a year makes.
Cook's 2012 compensation totaled $4.17 million, and he gets no stock awards. The compensation package includes $1.36 million salary and a $2.8 million incentive plan, according to an SEC filing. Cook's base salary in 2011 was $900,000, so technically he did get a raise.
So what's behind the numbers? Cook's total compensation was $378 million in 2011, inflated by $376.2 million worth of stock awards Cook received, to be disbursed over the next 10 years.
More Cash, But No Stock
"In deciding to increase the cash compensation for Mr. Cook, the Compensation Committee considered the company's financial results, Mr. Cook's responsibilities as CEO, and his total cash compensation opportunities as compared to the total cash compensation opportunities of the other named executive officers as well as the total cash compensation opportunities of CEOs at peer companies," Apple said in its proxy statement.
Apple admitted that "Cook's target cash compensation remains significantly below the median for CEOs of peer companies" despite the fact that the company "exceeded the maximum performance goals for both net sales and operating income set by the Compensation Committee for 2012."
Again, Cook's 2012 compensation totaled $4.17 million. That compares to $77.6 million for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and $1.38 million for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2011. Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos posted a 2011 salary of $81,840, with no stock awards. Bezos is the lowest-paid CEO among major tech companies.
Cook has been Apple's chief executive since August 2011, succeeding Steve Jobs. Cook had been the COO since October 2005. Cook joined Apple in March 1998. Apple shares have dipped 27 percent from their September 2012 record. Apple is under heavy pressure from competitors like Google and Samsung.
Apple suffered a few missteps over the year, most notably the rollout of iOS6 with a seriously flawed Apple Maps app to replace the native Google Maps app that had been part of iOS since its inception.
Cook took the virtually unprecedented step of publicly apologizing for the Maps app's flaws, and in its wake booted two key Apple executives, first mobile operating system chief Scott Forstall, who had been considered by some to be Jobs' protege, then Maps chief Richard Williamson.