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Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has turned down the opportunity to take $75m worth of dividend payments when the iPhone maker resumes its first payouts to shareholders later this year.
A regulatory filing on Thursday evening revealed that Mr Cook, who was granted 1m in long-term deferred stock when he became chief executive last year, requested not to participate in dividend payments. Mr Cook’s restricted stock units vest in 2016 and 2021, as long as he remains at Apple.
“Assuming a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share over the vesting periods of his 1.125 million outstanding restricted stock units, Mr. Cook will forego approximately $75 million in dividend equivalent value,” Apple says.
Apple did not comment further on Mr Cook’s decision but the waiver comes as total executive remuneration has increasingly become a target for activist investors.
Mr Cook, 51, was promoted from chief operating officer to succeed Steve Jobs as Apple’s chief executive last August, weeks before Mr Jobs’ death in October. Mr Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, took a salary of just $1 per year and did not participate in the company’s bonus programme, as he held a large portion of common stock.
At the time of being granted the deferred stock in August, these holdings alone were worth $376m.
Mr Cook’s salary was increased from $900,000 to $1.4m in November, with a further element of performance-related compensation of a maximum cash payout of 200 per cent of salary, totalling $2.8m if certain criteria are met.
The remuneration package puts Mr Cook among the highest-paid executives in the US, with the deferred stock now worth more than $500m at the prevailing share price.
Separately, reports in European media this week have suggested that Mr Cook has been shaking up his international sales team with the departure of Pascal Cagni, a 12-year Apple veteran.
Le Figaro reported that Mr Cagni, Apple’s vice president of Europe, resigned on Wednesday. Apple declined to comment on the story directly but said in a statement: “Tim [Cook] has run the sales organisation for more than a decade. When Tim became the CEO of Apple, we took a fresh look at worldwide sales to fill the gap that was left. As part of this, there are some gradual changes going on within sales to accommodate our tremendous growth.”
Earlier this week, Apple’s chief designer Jonathan Ive was knighted at Buckingham Palace by Britain’s Princess Royal for services to design and enterprise.