back to article Apple just cut Tim Cook's pay by 40%. How ever will he get by on that $50m?

Apple CEO Tim Cook's 2023 compensation package has been slashed by 40 percent, Apple said, after the iBoss okayed the move in response to shareholder criticism of executive pay.  Apple said in its annual proxy statement filed with the SEC yesterday that Cook's total target compensation was being reduced to $49 million from the …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    Honest question: What does one do with so much money?

    There are only so many islands one can buy, or so many fancy cars.

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Rocket companies are the way to go when yachts are not enough, apparently.

      1. EVP

        I've heard rumours that one can burn money on social media companies, too.

    2. simonlb Silver badge

      I'm sure he's trying very hard to have them make the worlds best polishing machine to make future Apple products that last 0.05% shinier than he previous years models.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Admittedly, if you're in the mood to buy an island, such things are very expensive. You'll have to work for a few years on $40M a year to afford that. Why people want to buy islands is another question, but I don't know the answer to that one. I could think of stuff to do with hundreds of millions, but a lot of those things involve giving it away to people or organizations.

  2. Mayday

    $49 million

    I’m sure he’s crying all the way to the bank as we speak.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: $49 million

      That's only his salary... what about options, benefits (health, dental and others), retirement. Chuck in all the free stuff like transportation, I doubt Tim's picking up the limo fare, or the plane tix, private or not... I'm sure that on the iphone cost to consumer pie chart graph, there's a slice that covers stuff like transportation and such.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. sanmigueelbeer

    Here Tim, here's $10. Go and get a decent meal.

  5. DanceMan

    Nobody is worth $50 million a year.

    There is something wrong when the worst jobs such as bent over picking veg or mopping up vomit in a hospital are paid the lowest wages.

    1. Brett Weaver

      Maybe no one is worth 50 mill...

      But the answer to your heart felt comment is to value the service worker more, not the bosses less, IMHO.

      Nurses, doctors, teachers, care givers should all get bloody good wages. No argument.

      How do we change society so it values the servant? Christians have been trying for 2000 years and failing badly.

      We now have organised religion that institutionalises the same devaluation of the worth of service.

      I don't know the answer, I just don't think paying the bosses less is going to fix the problem .

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Maybe no one is worth 50 mill...

        Setting a legal maximum multiplier between min and max is one possibility - if the CEO wants more money, gotta pay the peons more.

        The two problems with that are that it needs very careful wording to prevent "special" corporate structures to evade the limit, and many politicians have very strong personal conflicts of interest as their donations come out of the very same excessive income that would be cut.

        At least, until the revolution happens, and then it's too late. Historically, every violent revolution has been caused by an excessive disparity between the poorest and richest in society.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Christians have been trying

        Not sure they've been trying that hard. After all, the Vatican is one of the richest places on the planet.

        And the Catholic church has historically had dissentions in its ranks about the wealth of cardinals and such.

        So it's more a case of "do as I say as not as I do" when the church is talking about Jesus being poor.

        That is not, however, an excuse for paying one guy enough money per year to support 10,000 families. He's not doing the work of that many people.

        Sure, his work is important and it is important that he know what to say, when and how to say it and to who. Those things are complicated and require an above-average intelligence, to be sure. But they're not worth $50 million a year - especially when that is on top of all the other stuff he gets.

      3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Maybe no one is worth 50 mill...

        I have downvoted you for two simple reasons: 1) some bosses make a very high contribution to an enterprise, unfortunately its often a negative one and 2) some of the service jobs (eg the wiping up vomit example) do require human flexibility so the can not be carried out by a robot but do not need skill. We should not be paying highly for non-skill jobs. Thinking about it that would downrate most politicians and bureaucrats pay.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge

      There is something wrong but you appear to be looking at it wrongly. It's supply and demand and skills/knowledge. Physical effort is irrelevant because most of us are born capable of performing physical acts so you're not going to be paid anything special for the ability.

      There are any number of people who can pick vegetables. You don't even need to be able bodied, you just need functioning arms and some way to move about the field. That means if one worker ups and leaves you can easily find another to take their place. And it's hardly a complicated job. It probably takes fifteen minutes at the most to train a replacement so the impact of one worker leaving is negligible meaning there isn't even much need to incentivise them to stay.

      But there are a limited number of people who are capable of being a CEO and even fewer who have the knowledge and experience of Apple that Mr Cook does. His impact on the business is probably far reaching and there is quite a lot of need to encourage him to stay.

      Whether there is several million $s of need is another matter (and I do think it's far too much). But comparing what he does and his renumeration v. a crop picker is not valid. You're not going to redress things by attempting an irrational and incorrect comparison like that.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


        "But there are a limited number of people who are capable of being a CEO and even fewer who have the knowledge and experience of Apple that Mr Cook does. His impact on the business is probably far reaching and there is quite a lot of need to encourage him to stay."

        And no shortage of deputy CEO's who'll jump in when Mr Cook finally gets sick of the job( and the constantly telling the press office not to talk to el-reg when it calls up)

        Setting a maximum multiplier of the lowest paid in an organisation would seem the best way to approach the problem... but then we're up against the idea of paying CEOs in shares/options to avoid that ratio with the result that many C level execs view the share price of the company over any good leadership of said company.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          There's certainly millions of people in the world who could do Tim Cook's job better than he does, and probably hundreds within Apple itself.

          He's trivially replaceable - and shareholders need that to be true, as otherwise investing in Apple would be extremely risky - he could be taken ill or die at any moment.

          1. Tom 38

            There's certainly millions of people in the world who could do Tim Cook's job better than he does, and probably hundreds within Apple itself.

            Are there? The chap runs a two trillion dollar company, and has proved that he actually can do it. Can you pick the next guy that can do it? With 100% certainty?

            When Steve Jobs was shuffling off his mortal coil, there was a lot of speculation as to whether Cook could cut the mustard, or if he would be off the boil, being more of an accountant type than His Steveness's visionary type. Two trillion dollars is a lot of money to bet with, sure there might be someone better to do it, but what if you pick Elon 2.0? Two trillion becomes one trillion, and everyone is very unhappy. Better to pay Cook well and keep him happy.

            1. Sherrie Ludwig

              Can you pick the next guy that can do it? With 100% certainty?

              Oh, "with 100% certainty". Well, can you do anything with 100% certainty? Even reaching to scratch yourself, before completing the act, you could die of a cerebral hemorrhage or a nuclear strike take out your location. So NO, you are asking for something as ridiculous as my examples. Now, can somebody else do the job? Sure. the USA just had four execrable years of complete chaos under a toxic narcissist, an active threat to security, and it survived.

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              "Can you pick the next guy that can do it? With 100% certainty?"

              No, but I can't say with 100% certainty that Cook won't break something in the next year. Any person is capable of making a stupid mistake, many of which seem plausible at the time. The history of companies doing something disastrous for them is long, and many of them don't look like guaranteed bad ideas when proposed. 100% certainty is impossible, but you know that already.

              There's a difference between being a visionary who can successfully take a company from nothing to a moderate success, or even from a successful company to a behemoth, and someone who can avoid crashing an already successful company. Steve Jobs had to be the former twice, getting the initial Apple products sold and rescuing the weakened Apple in the 1990s. Even that wasn't all down to him, but he played an important role. Cook did not have that problem; Apple was massive in 2011 when he took control of it, and it's massive now. You're right that someone could pull a Musk and break anything, even something as successful as Apple, but it takes effort to be that bad, as we're seeing with each bad decision that Musk makes.

              This isn't to say that Cook doesn't deserve the money he gets. I don't particularly care about that. Apple's got a bunch of cash and decides to give it at any level they choose. Nevertheless, Cook's neither a miracle-maker nor the only person who can operate Apple.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge

        But, but, I can be a megalomaniac, I can crush people's souls, I can make unreasonable and irrational demands, I can have a vision! I could make that vision happen, but I won't, it gives me an upset stomach, and keeps me up at night.

      3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        I came up with a theory many years ago. The man at the top can do very little to improve things but can do an awful lot to make things worse.

        So Tim Cook inherited a very healthy company and hasn't screwed it up YET. I suppose that's worth $50m pa?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The Wizard once said: "The best civil servant is the man on the dole - he is paid the least, and can't fuck anything up"

  6. T. F. M. Reader

    Clearly a major adjustment

    But did Cook and/or AAPL respond to El Reg's follow-up queries?

    1. jgarbo

      Re: Clearly a major adjustment

      Respond to El Reg? Just who do you think you are? Cook's never heard of your rag. Begone...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obscene riches

    Nobody is that valuable.

    It’s no different to a cult.

    1. GraXXoR

      Re: Obscene riches

      All CEOs are on obscene compensation. More than ever before. (At least 2022, was).

      Even while the world is in a major downturn, CEOs and their respective companies were raking in record profits yet worker’s salaries are in the gutter.

  8. karlkarl Silver badge

    This pay cut could all be avoided if instead he just reduced all the many, many low paid workers pay by a couple of grand. It is already so low, they would barely notice it.

    Why do the few rich have to suffer just because they are superior to us?!


  9. xyz123 Silver badge

    Tim Cook gets paid 100s of millions in loans from Apple all at 0% with infinite repayment time.

    In this way he pays $0 tax by exploiting a nasty nasty loophole. same one used by Steve Jobs.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Revenge is good.

    What's the world coming to? Next thing you know, Apple management will reduce dividends.

  11. Mayday


    I hope someone sets up a Gofundme page for him.

  12. Plest Silver badge

    Don't like it, there's an answer...

    ...stop buying Apple kit! I got nothing against Mr Cook or Apple, if they're happy to pay him whatever he asks and they have it in the bank, then that's their business.

    I say all that as someone who last bought an Apple trinket about 15 years ago now. Their products are nice, certainly nice looking and they do actually work well but they're nothing that special and it took me spending a lot of money, and racking up some minor debts to realise that. iMacs, Macbooks, phones and tablets, the lot.

    Nowadays instead of simply being a sheep and just buying what the ad men tell me to buy, I do proper research and find products that do what I need and give me value for money for the long term, not just keep on the treadmill.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nobody bothers when its a footballer though

    So a chap that keeps 100s of thousands of people employed, as well as who's firm is the bedrock of most ETFs and pension funds gets paid less than a guy that kicks a ball around.

    1. LogicGate Silver badge

      Re: Nobody bothers when its a footballer though

      I am actually less worried about the lad with the ball than the about the group of shady old men that get to decide in which dictatorship the lad will be kicking the ball next. Not to speak of the lords of the rings.

      The lads (and ladies) with their balls will be kicked out of the game before reaching 40, with knackered bodies and little education. The shady old men get to continue their destructive games for life.


  14. Potemkine! Silver badge

    When you already have $1,700,000,000, what's the point to get a few millions more?

    This World is insane. The world’s ten richest men own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of humanity, 3.1 billion people.

    Since the covid crisis, for every $1 won by the poorer 90%, each billionaire earned $1,700,000.

    Redistribution of wealth is less and less assured. This was also a reason for the fall of the Roman Empire.

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