Tim Cook cashed in $36 million in Apple stock

by Edgar Hayes September 1, 2016, 6:23
Tim Cook cashed in $36 million in Apple stock

It was announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Cook had received 1.26 million shares of Apple stock, valued around $135 million. The transactions leaves Cook with 269,883 more shares than he had before converting his stock award, so the entire transaction could still be seen as a net investment in Apple by its CEO.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is taking advantage of the monstrous bonus he unlocked on his fifth anniversary at the helm of Apple by selling 334,000 shares for a big payday. WSJ's Lee Hawkins explains.

Cook earned the bulk of the shares, 980,000, by remaining CEO for five years - a feat which could have been achieved by barricading himself in his office, not talking to anyone and making no decisions which could get him fired.

Cook sold 334,000 shares at prices ranging from $107.21 to $107.69, netting himself nearly $36 million dollars. Cook also could collect another 3.5 million shares that remain under restrictions in coming years. This had resulted in some controversy from compensation experts, who argued that the simple measurement might not have accurately reflected Cook's performance as CEO.

A plan was drawn in 2013 requiring Cook to lead Apple to outperform and beat at least two-thirds of the S&P 500 companies. While Mr. Cook has hit his performance goals over the past few years, he will need to maintain a strong leadership position as Apple stock begins to falter amid tough smartphone and tablet markets.

Cook has sold Apple shares at regular intervals in the past, including in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. However, outside Cook, top five executives at Apple took home $25 million in total compensation in 2015. As that fell in the top one-third of all S&P 500 stocks, Cook was awarded the maximum portion of shares allocated on the basis of performance, or 280,000 shares. Reached by phone, Whittington declined to say why Cook sold the shares and directed a request for a comment to Apple public relations. In July, the company reported a 27 percent drop in quarterly profits as iPhone sales slumped.

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