Apple CEO Tim Cook compensation falls 99% (but he's still better off today)

Apple CEO Tim Cook will take away a "mere" $4.17m for work in 2012, down 99-percent from 2011, though thanks to some delayed share action the chief exec will actually be better off in the short-term. Cook became the best-paid CEO in 2011 thanks to a whopping $378m in compensation, though the bulk of that amount was in stock awards he will have to wait to see the benefit of; according to a new SEC filing, for 2012 Cook is actually sitting pretty after a more than 50-percent pay rise.

In fact, Cook's salary has risen by 51-percent, to $1.36m in 2012. That's combined with $2.8m in incentive plan compensation, though no restricted stock unit (RSU) awards in light of the huge chunk he was granted the previous year. Cook will have to wait until 2016 to see the first benefits from that – when half of the stock vests - and the remainder not expected until 2021.

On a salary-only basis, Cook's pay-out has grown considerably in his time as CEO at Apple. In 2011, his base salary amounted to $900,000. Cook has also pushed through new stock ownership requirements for the Apple executive team: he's now expected to own ten-times the amount of Apple stock as his base salary, while non-employee directors must own five-times the amount of Apple stock as their annual cash retainer. He and the others have five years to satisfy that requirement.

Apple's share price has waved over the past quarter or so, having fallen to just over $508 apiece after seeing a high of $700 back in September. However, the company still met its net sales and operating income targets, unlocking a 200-percent bonus for each member of the operating team.

[via Bloomberg]