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The Globe and Mail

Apple CEO hands employees $75-million pick-me-up

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a product event in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Apple is expected to reveal a new iPad model at WednesdayÍs event in San Francisco.

Paul Sakuma/AP/Paul Sakuma/AP

Apple CEO Tim Cook is giving up $75-million in dividends on restricted stock that the company is awarding to all of its employees.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Apple Inc. said that Mr. Cook requested that his restricted stock units not receive dividends. The dividends that Apple workers are getting amount to $2.65 per quarter for each restricted stock unit held. The shares are not normally eligible to receive dividends, so Apple's decision is a perk for its employees.

The decision comes two months after Apple introduced a regular dividend and authorized a $10-billion stock buyback program to start giving some of its cash hoard back to shareholders. It was a move that former CEO Steve Jobs long resisted. After his death last year, Apple's management has signalled that it's been considering options for the money, which amounted to nearly $100-billion.

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Even without the dividend, Mr. Cook, 51, remains one of the highest-paid CEOs in America. His pay package was valued at $378-million when he became Apple's chief in August. That was almost entirely in stock awards, some of which won't be redeemable until 2021, so the value could change dramatically.

Assuming Apple pays quarterly dividends of $2.65 over the vesting period of Mr. Cook's shares, the company said he will give up about $75-million in value.

Shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple fell $5.60 to $559.72 in afternoon trading Friday. The stock has traded between $310.50 and $644 over the past year.

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