Four out of the five highest-paid executives in the United States work for Apple, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, but not one of them is CEO Tim Cook.
According to fiscal 2012 compensation figures for top earners filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Apple’s Bob Mansfield, Bruce Sewell, Jeffrey Williams, and Peter Oppenheimer join Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to make up the top five corporate earners last year.
Mansfield was the highest-paid Apple employee, receiving $85.5 million during 2012. He actually decided to leave the company last June, but was reportedly handed an “exorbitant” payout that convinced him to sign a new two-year deal. Mansfield came second only to Oracle’s Ellison, who earned $96.2 million.
In third place was Sewell, Apple senior vice president and general counsel, who earned $69 million — slightly more than fourth-place Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, who earned $68.7 million. Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, was the fifth-highest earner with $68.6 million.
Businessweek reports that these hefty pay packets are designed to prevent executives from leaving for other roles in an increasingly competitive industry. Apple’s board confirmed this in its regulatory filing, which said stock grants should be “meaningful in size in order to retain the company’s executive team during the CEO transition.”
“It’s a retention strategy to keep the key executives who were present in the Steve Jobs era,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research. “They want to be sure the actual talents that they bring to the company are retained, and also from a perception standpoint to retain confidence in the leadership.”
Rather surprisingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook was ranked 1,016 on the highest-paid list, with a $4.17 million package during 2012. However, he was the highest-paid CEO in 2011 after receiving $378 million, almost all of which came in restricted stock awards that are set to vest over the next decade.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek.