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Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Officially A Billionaire As The Tech Firm Hits Nearly US$2T Valuation

Apple’s share price rose almost five per cent last week, bringing the company’s valuation to nearly US$2 trillion (S$2.75 trillion).

It was previously valued at about US$350 billion (S$480.7 billion) when co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died nine years ago.

As the tech giant grew more valuable, so did its current CEO Tim Cook.

According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Cook’s net worth has hit US$1 billion.

However, his net worth is still relatively low compared to other tech CEOs such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. They are all worth tens of billions, largely because they are all founders of the companies they run.

In 2015, Cook previously said that he plans to give most of his fortune away and has already gifted million of dollars worth of Apple shares. His wealth could be lower if he has made other undisclosed charitable gifts.

How He Amassed This Fortune

Cook’s fortune stems from his salary, the number of shares he holds in the company, and the proceeds from shares he’s sold, which total about US$1.02 billion.

In 2019, Cook’s base salary as CEO was US$3 million, according to Apple regulatory filings. That’s up from his first year as CEO in 2011, when his salary was US$900,000.

He also received US$7.6 million in incentive pay in 2019, making him one of the highest-paid CEOs in the US.

The vast majority of Cook’s estimated wealth comes from equity awards he’s received since joining Apple in 1998, where he has drawn plaudits for mastering the company’s complex supply chain.

He got a massive award of restricted shares on his first day as CEO. The equity has paid out in annual increments, with part of them contingent on Apple’s stock outperforming at least two-thirds of firms in the S&P 500.

Barring a sudden drop in Apple’s stock price, Cook is poised to receive his ninth payout from the award, consisting of 560,000 shares, later this month.

Around half of those will likely be withheld for taxes but the remainder should boost Cook’s fortune by another US$100 million.

He currently owns 847,969 shares directly, or about 0.02 per cent of Apple shares, worth around US$375 million.

Since 2005, Cook has also sat on the board of directors for Nike, where he has US$3.4 million in stock options, according to SEC filings. In June 2019, Nike’s board re-appointed Cook as its lead independent director for a three-year term.

In a 2012 book “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired–and Secretive–Company Really Works” by Adam Lashinsky, Cook said that “money is not a motivator” for him.

“I like to be reminded of where I came from, and putting myself in modest surroundings helps me do that.

Featured Image Credit: Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS

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