Tim Cook may well stay at the helm at Apple until at least 2025, according to SEC filings which detail the stock options that will vest in that time. Cook will receive 333,987 units of restricted stock options, vesting in thirds beginning April 1, 2023.
“For the first time in nearly a decade, we are awarding Tim a new stock grant that will vest over time in recognition of his outstanding leadership and with great optimism for Apple’s future as he carries these efforts forward,” Apple’s board of directors told Reuters.
As the board notes, this is the first time Cook has been awarded a stock grant since 2011. That was the year that he took over as Apple CEO, shortly before the death of Steve Jobs. At the time, Cook was well established as Apple’s no. 2 figure and had run the company as interim CEO during Jobs’ health-related leaves of absence.
What will the next five years hold for Tim Cook as CEO?
However, he was unproven as a CEO making long-term decisions about the future of Apple. Today, it is a different story. Cook has overseen Apple’s most successful ever decade from a financial perspective. The company he took over in 2011 had a market cap of around $350 billion. Today, it is valued at $1.951 trillion, and briefly passed the $2 trillion valuation in August.
If Cook is able to replicate that kind of track record for the next five years he will make substantially more than his 333,987 units of restricted stock options. If he hits performance targets, he will earn another 667,974 stock units. Each restricted stock unit is equal to one common share of AAPL in valuation. At time of writing, AAPL is valued at $114.09. That is down from a high of $134.18 on September 1. Cook officially became a billionaire last month.
The question of how long Tim Cook will remain in his role as Apple CEO remains to be seen. A recent report suggested that Cook and his team are “increasingly focused” on succession planning. If Cook remains Apple CEO until mid-2025, he will have been CEO for 14 years. That would make him the equal longest-reigning Apple CEO in history with Steve Jobs.
Alongside Cook, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams was granted 89,064 restricted stock units this week. They will vest on the same timescale as Cook’s. Williams is widely considered the most likely candidate to take over from Tim Cook as CEO.