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Apple investors urged to vote against nearly $100 million pay package for CEO Tim Cook

But an influential shareholder rights group has issues with Cook getting such a big payday.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) said in a report Wednesday that “there are significant concerns about the design and magnitude” of the amount of stock Cook is awarded.

As a result, ISS recommends investors vote against a proposal to ratify Cook’s compensation at Apple’s March 4 shareholder meeting.

Apple (AAPL) disclosed in his proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year that Cook is expected to receive $82.3 million in stock in addition to his $3 million annual salary and other compensation. The total package is $98.7 million, up from $14.8 million in 2020.

ISS notes that “half the price lacks performance criteria”. ISS also has an issue with Apple, saying the company does not specify whether the compensation package covers awards beyond 2021, which is concerning given “its large size”, the group said.

“As CEO Cook will be eligible for retirement treatment after one year from the date of award, the retention value of the award is limited,” ISS said.

Cook’s options would continue to vest in full even after his retirement, which ISS also opposes, arguing that Apple doesn’t need to give Cook as much financial incentive to stay on as CEO.

Apple did not comment on the ISS report. But it should be noted that another shareholder advisory firm, Glass Lewis, backed the proposal.

And Apple also noted in its proxy statement that Cook’s stock award is the first he’s received since becoming CEO shortly before Steve Jobs died in 2011.

“It’s been a remarkable decade for Apple,” the company said in the proxy statement.

Shareholders rarely vote against proposals a company recommends for approval, although activists have been able to win converts in recent years.

In 2021, investors voted against executive compensation packages at Intel (INTC), General Electric (GE) and owner of CNN AT&T (J). These votes were largely nominal, and boards aren’t obligated to change compensation plans even if shareholders reject them.

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