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.
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.