Apple CEO gives up $75M in dividend income

Apple chief executive Tim Cook talks about new Apple chief executive Tim Cook talks about new products in 2012 during an Apple event in San Francisco. (March 7, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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Apple chief executive Tim Cook is giving up $75 million in dividends on restricted stock, at a time when chief executive pay in the United States has been rising.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, Apple Inc. said Cook requested that his restricted stock units not receive dividends.

Apple is awarding quarterly dividends of $2.65 per share to all of its employees on the restricted stock, which is not normally eligible to receive dividends.

To be sure, Cook, 51, is one of the highest-paid chief executives in the world: His pay package was valued at $378 million when he became Apple's chief in August, following the death of Apple co-founder and guiding light Steve Jobs. Cook's pay was almost entirely in stock awards, some of which won't be redeemable until 2021, so the value could change sharply.

Still, the dividend payment he is giving up is almost eight times what the average U.S. chief executive earned in 2011.

The head of a typical public company earned $9.6 million in 2011, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm.

That compensation was up more than 6 percent from the previous year, an increase for the second year in a row. It's the highest chief executive pay since AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006.

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David Simon, head of Indianapolis-based mall operator Simon Property Group Inc., was the highest paid in the AP survey, at $137 million. His pay came almost entirely in stock awards, some of which won't be redeemable until 2019. (Cook wasn't included in the AP study because he is new to the job.)

This month, Simon Property's shareholders rejected Simon's pay package by a large margin. The company doesn't appear likely to change his pay, however; after the vote the company said it needed to pay him enough to keep him in the job. Simon Property owns three malls on Long Island -- Roosevelt Field, Walt Whitman Shops and Smith Haven -- and owns part of the Mall at the Source.

The next three highest paid chief executives in the survey were:

Leslie Moonves, CBS, $68.4 million, up 20 percent.

David M. Zaslav, Discovery Communications, $52.4 million, up 23 percent.

Sanjay K. Jha, Motorola Mobility, $47.2 million, up 262 percent.

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