Tim Cook Is Officially a Billionaire After a 500% Pay Raise in 2021

Tim Cook Is Officially a Billionaire After a 500% Pay Raise in 2021

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally joined the billionaire club a full decade after he succeeded Steve Jobs as the chief executive of the world’s most valuable tech company. In 2021, Cook received nearly $100 million in compensation—$98.73 million, to be exact—according to Apple’s annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission filed on Thursday.

Cook’s 2021 compensation represented a 500 percent increase from his 2020 pay, which surely pushed his net worth over the $1 billion mark, according to Apple Insider.

Cook’s extraordinary pay raise coincided with a historic year for Apple despite the lingering economic impact of COVID-19. In fiscal 2021 (starting September 2020), the iPhone maker logged $365.8 billion in net sales, an all-time record, and $108.9 billion in operating income, a 64 percent jump from fiscal 2020.

Apple stock rose about 80 percent last year and continued to soar in 2022. Earlier this week, Apple’s market cap briefly surpassed $3 trillion before stock price retreated.

As CEO, Cook takes a base salary of $3 million, which remained unchanged in 2021. On top of that, he received $12 million in bonuses for hitting Apple’s financial and environmental goals, according to the proxy statement. The bulk of his compensation last year came from an equity plan valued at $82.3 million awarded at the beginning of the fiscal year. The award was arranged a decade ago when he took over as CEO on the condition that he stays on the job for ten years.

The equity plan consists of two equal parts: one is performance-based and the other is scheduled to vest in three annual installments from 2023 through 2025. The non-performance-based portion will vest even if Cook retires before 2025, according to the proxy filing, although the board’s compensation committee has the power to stop it.

In addition, Cook also received $1.39 million in “other compensation” in 2021, including personal security expenses, air travel, a vacation cash-out of $23,077 and a $17,400 company contribution to his 401(k) plan.

However, Cook’s largest earning in 2021 wasn’t calculated in his official pay check. In August 2021, he vested about 5 million Apple shares, worth $754 million at the time. Those shares were granted in 2011 when he was promoted to CEO.

Apple said the board’s compensation committee determined Cook’s stock awards by considering Apple’s size, performance, and the CEO’s responsibilities. To measure performance, Apple takes into account the company’s profitability compared to a basket of 28 primary and secondary peer companies, including Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta, and others.

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