| Cult of Mac

Huge stock award lets Apple CEO Tim Cook pull in cool $98.7 million in 2021

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Tim Cook earnings apple
Tim Cook’s compensation package for 2021 is more than 6x what it was in the previous year.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s good to be the CEO — Apple chief executive Tim Cook was paid $98.7 million in 2021. That’s a combination of a base salary, an incentive plan and other compensation, but the lion’s share is in Apple stock.

Other top Apple executives also have 8-figure annual compensation packages, if not anywhere close to Cook’s.

Tim Cook allegedly pledged $275 billion to China in ‘secret’ investment deal

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Tim Cook's secret China investment deal: The agreement is said to have helped settle tensions with Chinese authorities.
The agreement is said to have helped settle tensions with Chinese authorities.
Photo: Fortune Global Forum/Flickr CC

Apple CEO Tim Cook “secretly” struck a deal with China in which he agreed to invest around $275 billion of Apple’s money to boost the country’s economy and “technological prowess,” according to a new report.

The five-year agreement was allegedly made during a series of visits Cook made to China in 2016 amid growing regulatory hostilities toward Cupertino. Since then, Apple has become China’s biggest smartphone brand.

Apple will sell parts and tools so customers can repair their own devices

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Apple Self Service Program for customer repairs
It's a major change to the company's repair policy.
Photo: Apple

Apple today revealed its new Self Service Program, which will provide customers with the parts and tools they need to repair their own devices. It marks a major shift in the company’s approach to hardware fixes.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups are the first to be supported, but will be soon followed by Mac computers powered by M1 chips, Apple said. The Self Service Program launches next year in the U.S., and will expand in 2022.

As Tim Cook nears a decade at the helm, Apple focuses on who’ll take over

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Tim Cook WWDC
Who will be Apple's next CEO?
Photo: Apple

Much of Apple’s senior team, including 59-year-old CEO Tim Cook, are of a similar age. That means they’re probably not going to be in their roles for too many more years.

As Cook approaches a decade at the helm of Apple, a Friday report from Bloomberg claims that he and his team are “increasingly focused” on succession planning. That means cultivating its “next class of top managers” who could take the helm of the world’s most valuable company.

Jony Ive disappears from Apple’s leadership page

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Apple-leadership-2019
You won't see Jony Ive here anymore.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Former design chief Jony Ive today disappeared from Apple’s leadership page after leaving Cupertino.

Ive joined Apple in 1992 and led its design team from 1996. He is credited for helping rescue the company from the brink of bankruptcy with a slew of iconic products.

It’s not quite the end of Ive’s relationship with Apple, however. His own design company, LoveFrom, will hold the iPhone-maker as one of its primary clients.

Why Apple Watch Series 5 is a welcome surprise

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Apple Watch Series 5 adds an always-on display. Just what I always wanted.
Always-on display. Just what I always wanted
Photo: Apple

I wasn’t expecting much from the Apple Watch Series 5 refresh. The rumor mill only predicted new ceramic and titanium finishes, plus maybe sleep tracking. That was all for this year.

But it turns out Apple had three big surprises hidden up its sleeves — new features that look set to make Apple Watch Series 5 the best smartwatch money can buy.

Apple health team struggles to find a focus

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Apple health care
Apple's health-tracking features have been a game changer.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Tensions have been rising inside Apple’s health team over the last year or so, according to a new report that reveals some of the top employees from the division have left the company.

While healthcare has become one of Apple’s biggest focuses recently, the report claims the health team has seen a number of leadership changes and internal disagreements leading some employees to be disillusioned with the group’s culture.

16-inch MacBook Pro details emerge, and the Apple Car lives, this week on The CultCast

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CultCast 398
The all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro could be right around the corner...
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: A new report gives us a price tag and release date for the upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro. Then: A new hire signals that the Apple Car is far from dead; and there’s finally a way to get podcasts recommendations tailored just for you. Plus, stayed tuned for our favorite shows and Comic-Con trailer in an all-new What We’re Into!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Jeff Williams might be Apple’s next Tim Cook

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Apple COO Jeff Williams
Williams is next in line for the CEO’s office.
Photo: Apple

Apple operations chief Jeff Williams is the most important person at the company after CEO Tim Cook, according to a new report.

Williams, who has also taken over Apple’s design studio following the departure of Jony Ive, is thought to be first in line to replace Cook when the time is right.

“He’s very much in the mold of the current chief executive: a paragon of operational efficiency and even temper,” said several current and former colleagues.