In a nutshell: We're used to hearing about megacompany CEOs receiving obscene pay rises in times of economic hardship and job cuts, but Tim Cook is bucking the trend. The Apple boss will receive around 40% less in 2023 compared to what he was paid last year, and the decision partly comes from Cook's own recommendation. That doesn't mean he'll be searching for discount coupons in newspapers: Cook is still likely to earn more than $49 million this year.
Cook's pay reduction comes after the Say-on-Pay vote held at Apple's annual advisory meeting for shareholders in 2022. Just 64% of votes relating to compensation for executives were in favor of execs retaining their 2021 pay packages. That marked a drastic decline compared to the 94.9% of in-favor votes recorded a year earlier.
Despite the majority of shareholders voting in favor, Apple took the Say-on-Pay's declining support into consideration when calculating Cook's compensation for 2023. It also took on board the CEO's own recommendation "to adjust his compensation in light of feedback received."
Cook's target compensation for 2023 is $49 million, a decline of $35 million compared to last year. His $3 million base salary and $6 million bonus remains unchanged, but his equity award value falls from $75 million to $40 million. Moreover, his equity award is 75% performance and 25% time-based vesting, whereas last year's split was 50/50.
Bloomberg writes that Cook made $99.4 million last year, $15.4 million more than his target salary for 2022, so he's likely to finish the year with more than $49 million.
Cook became a billionaire in 2020 and is now estimated to be worth $1.7 billion. That's good news for the causes who will benefit from his joining the Giving Pledge in 2015, when he promised to give his wealth away to charities.
9to5Mac reports that in addition to paying his compensation, Apple spent $591,196 in security expenses for Cook last year, which covered personal security services. It also spent $767,319 on air travel expenses, including hourly charges for the use of a private aircraft (Apple requires he uses one for security and efficiency reasons), fuel charges, departure fees, and landing fees.