Apple chief cashes in more than €100m of stock options – Irish Times

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Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, has cashed in more than $120 million (€103 million) worth of stock options, thanks to the iPhone maker’s soaring share price that has pushed its valuation above $1 trillion.

Mr Cook received a huge stock award in August 2011 when he took over running the company from ailing co-founder Steve Jobs, with the shares set to vest over the subsequent decade.

Mr Cook has not received any new stock grants since then but the latest vesting ranks among his biggest in recent years, thanks to Apple’s surging share price which has outperformed the broader stock market. A regulatory filing on Tuesday revealed that he had been given 560,000 shares, worth a total of $121 million, before tax.

Last year, Mr Cook received stock worth $89 million but the previous year he was awarded shares worth $136 million – a larger payout that reflected him surpassing the five-year mark as head of the world’s most valuable company.

After pressure from shareholders, Apple made changes to Mr Cook’s award scheme in 2013. Under the revised plan, half of the potential restricted stock units he is eligible to receive are based on performance with the other half being time-based.

Tuesday’s filing showed that for the three years to August 24th, Apple’s total shareholder returns, including dividends, outperformed most other companies in the S&P 500. That ensured Mr Cook received the maximum possible stock award for the fifth year in a row.

Apple’s total shareholder returns ranked 50th out of the 423 companies in the S&P 500, at almost 90 per cent over the three years. The iPhone maker’s market capitalisation surpassed $1 trillion earlier this month, beating rivals such as Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet to hit the landmark valuation. Shares touched a new all-time high of $220.54 in intraday trading on Tuesday.

More than half of the $121 million worth of stock options that Mr Cook has cashed in over several days since he received the award last Friday were withheld to cover tax obligations. The remainder netted Mr Cook more than $57m.

Mr Cook said in 2015 that he planned to donate almost all of his personal fortune, estimated at $700 million by Bloomberg, to charitable causes before he dies. “You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change,” he told Fortune magazine in 2015.

The Apple boss donated about $5 million worth of stock to an undisclosed charity last week, according to regulatory filings.

Last year, Mr Cook received a salary of $3 million plus a $9.3 million cash bonus. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018