Apple investors urged to fight Tim Cook’s $99 million pay package


Tim Cook at Unleashed event
Apple's "Unleashed" event focused on music and Macs.
Photo: Apple

A shareholder advisory group is urging Apple investors to vote against a $99 million compensation package awarded to CEO Tim Cook last year.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) said it has “significant concerns” over the “design and magnitude” of the package — which is up $14.8 million from the year before. But it is Apple’s board, not investors, that make the final decision.

Cook’s $99 million compensation package at risk

Since Cook stepped up to become Apple’s CEO in 2011, the company has gone from strength to strength. It may not have revolutionized industries in the same way it did with iPhone and iPad under Steve Jobs, but is has been a juggernaut.

Apple is now the world’s most valuable company — the first to ever hit a market cap of $3 trillion. And it continues to report record-breaking earnings on the back of strong sales of iPhone, Mac, and Apple’s various services.

Shareholders have reaped the rewards of Cook’s tenure, too, with returns up more than 1,000% since he took the reins. But ISS is now asking those shareholders to vote against Cook’s latest compensation package.

“Half of the award lacks performance criteria,” ISS said. It also pointed out that the $99 million award — which included costs for security and a private jet — was 1,447 times more than the average wage of an Apple employee.

Apple’s board makes the final decision

It is the first time in seven years that ISS has objected to Apple’s pay packages. And its efforts to block the award are unlikely to make a difference. Last year, 95% of shareholders voted in favor of Cook’s compensation, BBC reports.

This year’s meeting takes place in the first week of March. That’s when shareholders will get the opportunity to vote again. However, those votes are only advisory; it is the responsibility of Apple’s board to make the final decision.


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