It’s common knowledge that when it comes to massive tech companies, Apple still stands above the rest. With a market capitalization of $879 billion, the Cupertino firm is the most valuable company in the world. All of which begs the question: where are all its billionaires?
The Bloomberg Billionaires index, which tracks the 500 richest people in the world, includes current and former tech execs such as Alphabet trio Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and, sitting at the top of the list, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. But the only Apple employee to make the cut is chairman Art Levinson, and as Bloomberg notes, “his Apple stock accounts for just 20 percent of his $1 billion fortune.” Levinson made most of his money from his time as CEO and Chairman of Genentech Inc. and from an early stake in Google.
As CEO, Tim Cook is considered the public face of Apple, but his fortune stands at 'just' $600 million. He has a $3 million salary and a $6 million target bonus, while his major source of compensation is a $376 million grant of restricted stock he received after replacing Steve Jobs in 2011, which was meant to pay him for the next ten years. Importantly, about one-third of the grant is contingent on Apple outperforming the S&P 500 Index. Cook's pay pales in comparison next to someone like Elon Musk and his $2.6 billion package, or Google's Sundar Pichai and his nine-figure compensation.
It’s a similar story among those Apple executives beneath Cook; they have an annual target compensation of about $23 million, which mostly comes in the form of restricted stock.
While co-founder Steve Jobs was a billionaire, most of his fortune came from co-founding Pixar Animation and its eventual sale to Disney. He held a 15 percent stake in Apple at the time of its IPO in 1980 but sold all (except for one) of his shares for $100 million when he departed the company in 1985. Those shares would have been worth $132 billion today. His widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, is on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (worth $18 billion), though she has no role at Apple.
Apple isn’t just frugal when it comes to paying its execs, either. Its largest acquisition to date was the $3 billion it paid for Beats Electronics in 2014; small change when compared to the $22 billion Facebook paid for WhatsApp that same year.
Bloomberg does speculate, however, that some long-term Apple employees, such as chief design officer Jony Ive, might hold enough of a stake in the company to push their net worth over the billion-dollar mark.