Apple has a reputation for taking care of its employees. It’s considered one of the best places to work, according to various surveys and analyses.
Apple's CEO, Tim Cook could also testify to the prestige of the company, thanks to a massive bump in bonus pay and a new mandate that he must travel everywhere — both for business and pleasure — on a private jet. It just goes to show that being involved in tech has some incredible perks.
Cook’s total compensation for 2017 topped out at $102 million, which is significantly higher than it was the previous year. The increase didn’t come from his base salary, which remained unchanged in 2017 at $3 million, but his cash bonuses and benefits rose more than 73 percent to $9.3 million.
Cook Required to Take Private Jet
A big part of Cook’s bonuses includes his travel expenses, which take him all over the world and came to more than $93,000 in 2017 alone. It's a number that’s bound to increase since Cook was recently told that every trip he takes — both for personal and business reasons — must be on a private jet.
This only adds to the immense value of Cook’s compensation. The cost of chartering a private jet for his own personal trips would be upwards of $9,000 per trip, depending on the company and the destination.
This means a significant increase in Cook’s personal benefits and compensation.
The mandate comes as a security measure to protect such a valuable member of the Apple team. Apple’s filing does not specify the kinds of threats they expect Cook to face. They said in a statement, "We do not consider the security measures provided to our executive officers to be a personal benefit, but rather reasonable and necessary expenses for the benefit of Apple."
This, of course, comes with its own financial and political scrutiny.
"While the world’s elite happily indulge in the luxury of private aircraft, flying in corporate jets as a CEO can be fraught —particularly when they fall under scrutiny of shareholders or the government,” writes Oliver Stanley of Quartz at Work. Stanley adds, "In 2008, the CEOs of Ford, GM and Chrysler were excoriated by Congress for flying to Washington in private jets to ask taxpayers for $25 billion in bailouts. More recently, former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt’s habit of flying with a second private jet tailing him — in case the one he flew in broke down — added to a perception of waste and inefficiency that helped lead to his ouster earlier this year."
Stanley concedes that it’s unlikely that Cook will face the same issues as some of these other CEOs who are under pressure from shareholders, and Apple certainly doesn’t have financial problems that would prevent the company from flying its CEO all over the world.
Apple Shares Skyrocket
If you’ve done the math, we’re only at about $12,000 for Cook’s compensation, so where did the rest of last year’s money come from? From the 560,000 shares of Apple stock he vested in late September. At the time, it was worth $89 million, but in November, Apple’s market capitalization grew to $868 billion, making it the world’s most publicly-traded company. Apple gained another 10 percent with this increase, so Cook’s shares are now worth closer to $95 million.
Cook also has an unvested total of shares at $2.94 million, which he plans to unlock sometime before August 2021. His goal is to vest up to 560,000 shares per year until he finally unlocks his stock option award of up to 1.2 million shares.
With that kind of strategic plan promising immense growth for the company, Apple seems content to fly Cook anywhere he wants.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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