Apple CEO Tim Cook Again Nears $100 Million Annual Pay In Fiscal 2022 But Company Plans To Slash His Pay 40% This Year After “Shareholder Feedback”
Apple CEO Tim Cook came close to $100 million in total compensation for the second straight year, taking home $99.4 million in fiscal 2022, according to a proxy statement filed with the SEC.
The filing notes that Apple’s compensation committee plans to slash the top exec’s pay by more than 40% compared with the target amount for last year in the wake of “feedback” from displeased investors. His target amount for fiscal 2023 is $49 million.
“Taking into consideration Apple’s comparative size, scope, and performance, the Compensation Committee also intends to position Mr. Cook’s annual target compensation between the 80th and 90th percentiles relative to our primary peer group for future years,” the filing notes. The sizable cut in pay was determined after the committee “balanced shareholder feedback, Apple’s exceptional performance, and a recommendation from Mr. Cook to adjust his compensation in light of the feedback received.”
Similar to 2021, when Cook made $98.7 million, the bulk of the top exec’s 2022 compensation came in the form of a stock award, with a base salary of $3 million. In 2022, his stock award totaled $83 million.
Last year, news of Cook’s 2021 compensation prompted some shareholders, including an influential advisory firm, to urge a vote against the package. The setup for public companies generally provides shareholders with an opportunity to approve executive pay plans, though bylaws vary as to how a “no” vote on pay affects the actual payouts. In the end, 64% of shareholders voted in favor of Cook’s pay package, a far less definitive stamp of approval than most top execs receive.
Last year was a decidedly tougher one than 2021 for the entire tech sector — perhaps its worst since the 2008 financial crisis. Apple fared slightly better than some of its fellow tech titans but still saw its shares slide more than 20% as a souring economy, Covid chaos in China and a host of other factors posed stiff operational challenges.
In fiscal 2022, per the proxy, other members of the senior exec team earned virtually identical amounts. CFO Luca Maestri, General Counsel Kate Adams, SVP of Retail + People Deirdre O’Brien and COO Jeff Williams each took home about $27.2 million in total.
In addition to the compensation figures, the proxy outlined a number of shareholder proposals that will be voted on at its annual shareholder meeting on March 10. Apple is recommending a vote against five of the proposals. Among them is one requiring the company to “report annually to shareholders on the nature and extent to which corporate operations depend on, and are vulnerable to, Communist China, which is a serial human rights violator, a geopolitical threat, and an adversary to the United States.” In urging a “no” vote, the company explained that it already furnishes extensive information about its operations in China, some of it to meet SEC requirements and some of it on a purely voluntary basis.
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