“Significant concern” raised over Tim Cook’s $99 million pay package

Apple headquarters

Apple Inc.’s shareholders have been advised by a top shareholder advisory group to vote against the $99 million pay package CEO Tim Cook received last year.

In a letter reportedly seen by the Financial Times, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) told its clients there was “significant concern” with the stock award Cook received in 2021 – his first since 2011.

Throughout last year, Cook was awarded stock with a value of $82 million. Also included in the Apple chief’s pay package was $630,630 in personal security costs, as well as $712,488 for a private jet. ISS said the amount was significantly in excess of awards given by comparable companies.

The Board of Directors at Apple, however, has recommended that shareholders give their approval to the compensation package handed to the CEO. With shareholders tending to follow the recommendation of the board, ISS’s letter to its clients can be considered a largely performative act.

Nonetheless, it represents the first time since 2015 that ISS has voiced opposition to an Apple compensation package.

Cook has defied critics who suggested Apple would fade away after the death of the Cupertino firm’s former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011. Apple’s total shareholder return has exceeded 1,000% since 2011, and the company briefly surpassed a $3 trillion valuation in January this year.

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