Apple Defeats Lawsuit Claiming It Overpaid Tim Cook and Other Execs

Apple will not have to face an investor lawsuit accusing it of overpaying CEO Tim Cook and other top executives by tens of millions of dollars, after a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed the case (via Reuters).

Tim Cook WWDC Stage
The plaintiff, a pension fund affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Apple in 2021 and 2022 awarded a respective $92.7 million and $94 million to Cook and four other executives by improperly calculating the value of performance-based stock awards. The plaintiff argued its compensation committee intended to award just $77.5 million each year.

The alleged error was attributed by the pension fund's lawyers to the committee's improper calculation of the restricted stock unit's "fair values" at the time of the grants, and said it misled shareholders who would be casting advisory votes on executive compensation, known as "say-on-pay."

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Rochon disagreed, however, saying Apple described its pay methods in detailed compensation tables in its 2023 proxy statement "precisely," as securities laws and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules require.

The Manhattan judge also found no proof that Apple's board of directors acted improperly in awarding pay, and said the plaintiff did not give the board enough time to consider its objections before suing.

Apple proxy filings show Cook's compensation totaled about $99 million in both 2021 and 2022, including more than $82 million of stock awards each year. Cook's total pay declined to $63.2 million for 2023.

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Top Rated Comments

vegetassj4 Avatar
18 weeks ago
Meanwhile, Tim Apple was seen contemplating his next pay raise request.

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Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xizdun Avatar
18 weeks ago
Tim Cook makes a lot less money compared to many other CEOs of Fortune 50 companies.

Apple’s stock price was less than $14/share when Tim Cook took over as CEO in August 2011 (and Steve Jobs died in October 2011). Today, it is over $180/share.

He has also pledged “to donate $800m fortune to charity before he dies”.

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Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Darren.h Avatar
18 weeks ago
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tehabe Avatar
18 weeks ago
The worst thing about CEO pay is, it is depends on the stock not how the company is actually doing. And yeah, CEOs earn too much, no CEO is worth being paid millions per year while some workers are making barely minimum wage. The idea of "underpaid CEOs" was spread by consulting companies like McKinsey which CEOs loved of course, so McKinsey is essentially a CEO trade union.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schnegg Avatar
18 weeks ago
It‘s easy to argue about his salary, but very hard to argue with his results. Other corps pay insane exec salaries even for disastrous leadership.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
18 weeks ago

He makes to much money because everybody keeps buying his sales pitch.
Isn’t a CEO supposed to run a company and sell things? It sounds like Cook is doing his job. Are you criticizing Apple for being a successful company that makes products and runs services people spend money on?

How do you define too much money? Is that more than you make? Is it more than X times the median salary of company employees? Is it a percent of total revenue? Is it relative to other CEOs?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)