Tim Cook Receives Restricted Stock Units Worth Up to $114 Million, Ensuring He'll Remain Apple's CEO Through 2025
Apple CEO Tim Cook was this week awarded 667,974 restricted stock units or RSUs worth more than $76 million at Apple's current price, according to a filing with the SEC. The first half of the RSUs are set to vest in one-third increments in 2023, 2024, and 2025, so Cook will receive 111,329 shares every April starting in 2023.
The second half of the RSUs are performance-based awards and will vest on October 1, 2023, based on Apple's relative shareholder return. Cook can potentially receive up to 200% of the 333,987 RSUs awarded for performance.
These performance-based restricted stock units are scheduled to vest on October 1, 2023. The "target" number of restricted stock units is reported. Between 0% and 200% of the target number of units may vest based on Apple's relative total shareholder return from the first day of Apple's fiscal 2021 and ending with the last day of Apple's fiscal 2023.
Paired with the time-based stock awards, Cook can earn up to 1,001,961 shares worth more than $114 million today if Apple's performance in the S&P 500 is in the 85th percentile or higher relative to other companies.
This is the first stock grant that Cook has received since 2011, with the last of that grant set to vest in 2021. As noted by Reuters' Stephen Nellis, Apple's board of directors issued a statement on Cook's RSU award:
Tim has brought unparalleled innovation and focus to his role as CEO and demonstrated what it means to lead with values and integrity. For the first time in nearly a decade, we are awarding Tim a new stock grant that will vest over time in recognition of his outstanding leadership and with great optimism for Apple's future as he carries these efforts forward.
Several employees on Apple's executive team have also received stock awards, including Luca Maestri, Deirdre O'Brien, and Jeff Williams, all of whom have been awarded 178,128 shares. As with Cook's award, half of these RSUs will vest between 2023 and 2025, while the rest are performance based awards.
The RSUs serve as bonus compensation for Cook and Apple's executives, and will encourage employees to stay with the company through at least 2025, which is when everything will be fully vested. Cook has been Apple's CEO since August 2011, and there has been some speculation lately on how long he will continue to work for Apple. Cook in a recent interview said that he can't envision his life not working at Apple.
I consider it the privilege of a lifetime to be here in this role at this time. I love working with this team. I consider them family. It's hard to explain. It may sound like messaging or something, but it's not. It's that deep in my heart, I really love the people I work with and currently it's tough to envision my life without that. So we'll see. At some point, of course, we all do something different, but at the moment, there's no place I would rather be than right here.
When Cook does opt to retire at some point in the future, Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams could assume the role of CEO, according to a recent Bloomberg report. Williams is "primed" to take over for Cook if necessary and considered the "heir apparent" within Apple.