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Apple Investors Urged to Vote Against CEO Tim Cook's $100 Million Pay Package: 'There Are Significant Concerns'

Cook's pay was 1,447 times that of the average Apple employee.


With a market capitalization of $2.8 trillion, Apple is the most valuable company in the world — one Warren Buffett made upwards of $120 billion on at one point. Now, the iPhone maker's CEO, Tim Cook, is on track to see a giant payday for his efforts: a nearly $100 million compensation package for 2021. But the Instituional Shareholder Services (ISS), an influential shareholder rights group, might stand in his way.

Per CNN, the ISS released a report on Wendesday stating "there are significant concerns regarding the design and magnitude" of Cook's massive potential stock award. The ISS is suggesting that investors vote to reject the compensation proposal at the company's March 4 shareholder meeting.

Earlier this year, Apple disclosed in a proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Cook is expected to receive $82.3 million in stock awards in addition to his $3 million annual salary and other compensation, for a $98.7 million package total — up from $14.8 million in 2020.

Related: Apple CEO Tim Cook Gets Apple Stock Worth $750 Million

According to the ISS, "half of the award lacks performance criteria." The ISS is also concerned that Apple didn't provide information about the compensation package's potential post-2021 awards. "Given that CEO Cook will be eligible for retirement treatment after one year from the grant date, the retentive value of the award is limited," ISS said. Cook's award would also continue to vest in full in the event of his retirement.

Cook's pay was 1,447 times that of the average Apple employee, per a filing released in January. In a proxy statement, the company said Cook's stock award is the first he's been given since he assumed his position just before Steve Jobs's death in 2011.

It's rare for shareholders to vote against proposals that a company endorses. In 2021, investors rejected executive compensation packages at Intel, General Electric and AT&T. For the most part, however, these moves are symbolic, as boards do not actually have to alter the rejected payout plans.

Related: Lessons in Persuasion From Apple CEO Tim Cook

According to Forbes, Cook's current net worth sits at $2.3 billion.

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