Tim Cook Salary: Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes Huge Pay Cut in 2012

Tim Cook Salary: On December 27, 2012, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) filed a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC. A copy of the 50+ page statement can be found here.

Tim CookWhile there is a lot of information to sift through, one of the most important findings is the compensation of CEO Tim Cook. Despite the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of the most valuable companies in the world, Cook took a huge pay cut in 2012.

When compared to compensation of $378 million in 2011, the $4.17 million earned by Cook in 2012 would seem to be an error. However, this is exactly how much the high-powered CEO earned over the past 12 months.

With all this in mind, there is one question that needs answered: why did Cook earn so much less in 2012? In short, this comes down to one thing and one thing only: stock option awards.

According to a breakdown on TechCrunch, “Cook was granted a number of in both 2010 ($52 million worth) and 2011 ($376 million), but which he received none of in 2012. Those stock awards include a large number, which will vest in 2014, 2016, and 2021 respectively, and which now total over $750 million at today’s current market value, according to the filing.”

On page 23 of the SEC filing, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares information on how the company determines compensation for the Chief Executive Officer. Here is the process, as far as the current employment of Cook is concerned: