Apple execs dominate S&P top five highest-paid employees

By on April 15, 2013, 3:30 PM

After compiling SEC data filed by 410 companies containing 2,050 executives, Bloomberg Businessweek reveals that Apple dominates the S&P index's top five best-paid executives with four of its own. Together, Apple's fantastic four raked in nearly $300 million dollars in cash and stock options during its 2012 fiscal year.

Absent from the list though are possibly the company's most well-known employees: CEO Tim Cook and famed designer Jonathan Ive. In fact, Cook came in 1,016th. Rather, top compensation went to other high-level talent whom Apple deemed essential to keep the fire burning after Steve Jobs' unfortunate departure.

The most well-paid employee at Apple (and second best paid anywhere) is hardware engineer-turned senior VP of technology Bob Mansfield who received a healthy $85.5 million package atop his $850K base salary. 

The other three, senior VP of operations Jeffrey Williams, Apple's top legal counsel Bruce Sewell and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer follow closely behind with packages valued just under $70 million each.

Apple's cash-driven retention strategy appears to be working. Since its transition from Jobs' leadership, only one senior executive has left voluntarily. "Obviously, they are doing something right," analyst Steven Hall told Bloomberg.

While four out of the five most well-paid employees hail from Apple, the top spot actually goes to Oracle's CEO. Larry Ellison, a man who already owns his own island, snagged a whopping $96.2 million in compensation for his leadership role at Oracle.




User Comments: 5

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2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Before this thread gets derailed into a discussion about exec pay, there's something interesting about the technology field that causes some of these salaries to get so high.

Most industries make their employees sign non-compete clauses that are pretty strict, but the execs in the technology industry don't do this. (I'm not sure why... if it's a culture thing or if it's related to state laws in CA or WA). Either way, because there's nothing stopping executives from taking their knowledge to another company we see execs jump from tech company to tech company. The top people seem to rotate around Yahoo, Google, MS and Apple like musical chairs. One of the best ways to keep the talent around is with lots of money, since they can't make them sign non-compete clauses.

One of the benefits for us is it makes the tech companies much more competitive. That makes innovation much faster paced than it might otherwise be.

Like I said.. I can't remember why the tech industry is special in this way. Anyone know?

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Apple is still sitting on a mountain of cash. They can be as irresponsible as they like with salary. But with their stocks on a steady 6 month decline towards reality, they might want to reconsider how much they pad the really deep pockets.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

One of the best ways to keep the talent around is with lots of money

I'm glad you were able to make that point right up front. Money has this weird way of eliciting all sorts of emotional arguments that label all executives as filthy, greedy money-grubbing businessmen. (No doubt some are) But in the end, these guys are the Michael Jordans and Drew Brees of the business world so retaining them for their skills costs $$.

But as 9nails pointed out, I do believe Apple stock is a little overvalued and nothing stays overvalued for very long.

Like I said.. I can't remember why the tech industry is special in this way. Anyone know?

I cannot seem to find anything about the tech industry not being keen on non-compete agreements.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I cannot seem to find anything about the tech industry not being keen on non-compete agreements.

I remembered where I read it... it was WIRED. Here's the article. [link]

From the article. "California has a state statute that says any contract that prevents someone from working is null and void, essentially rendering noncompetes moot. "

p51d007 said:

The apple board can pay their executives whatever they want.

The thing I find ironic though is the "occupy wall street" types will mostly defend them, but,

will jump up and down complaining about what walmart, "big oil" etc executives get paid.

Kind of hypocritical isn't it?

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