Apple CEO Tim Cook received a one time stock award valued at nearly $400 million, the largest given by a company in a decade. The award was to signal confidence in Cook after Steve Jobs turned over direction of Apple to Cook.
The stock award, half of which vests in 2016 and the remaining half in 2021, was worth more than $376 million, based on the closing price of Apple’s shares on August 24, 2011, the company said in a Monday proxy filing.
“As far as a singular award, we haven’t seen anything this large in a long time,” said Aaron Boyd, head of research at Equilar, an executive compensation data firm.
The only one-time stock award in recent memory that was worth more? According to Boyd, it was the January 2000 stock option package that Apple gave Steve Jobs. The options in that award were valued at more than $600 million at the time.
Apple said Cook’s award was a retention and promotion tool, in addition to recognition for running the company while Jobs was on previous medical leaves of absence.
“The Board views his retention as CEO as critical to the Company’s success and smooth leadership transition. The RSU award is intended as a long-term retention incentive,” Apple said in its statement.