Steve Jobs: $1 Annual Salary, No Perks, But Lots of Shares

 @Gooch700
on August 26 2011 7:42 AM
Apple's Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs in his signature black turtleneck. REUTERS/Kimberly White

While Steve Jobs has famously been making $1 in annual salary while leading Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to undreamed-of heights, he won’t be in any danger of living in the poor-house any time soon.

According to Apple’s proxy statement from February 2011, Jobs owns about 5.5-million shares of Apple stock (which, based onThursday’s closing price, would be valued at just above $2-billion).

It is interesting to note that Jobs stock-holding (which he actually holds indirectly through a trust) represent less than 1 percent of the company’s total public float.

However, according to Footnoted.com, which examines corporate SEC filings, Apple’s financial statements included no information about any pension agreement, or health plan and severance package related to Jobs.

Apple has however paid for the private plane Jobs uses for business meetings – to the tune of $248,000 last year, and $1.1-million over the past three years.

Footnoted indicated that the jet, valued at $40-million, was itself a gift to Job from the board of directors.

”Jobs and Apple may even now be hashing out some lavish retirement agreement,” Footnoted speculated.

“It will [also] be interesting to see if Apple continues to pay him for his business flights as chairman-and-not-CEO.”

Indeed, in the proxy filing, it explicitly reads: “The Company recognizes that Mr. Jobs’ level of stock ownership significantly aligns his interests with shareholders’ interests. From time to time, the Compensation Committee may consider additional compensation arrangements for Mr. Jobs given his continuing contributions and leadership.”

By comparison, Timothy Cook, the former chief operating officer, who now replaces Jobs as chief executive officer, received a total compensation of about $59-million last year -- which included a base salary of about $800,000, a bonus of $5-million and a whopping $52.3-million in stock awards.

The company explained in the proxy statement: “Mr. Cook’s compensation is set at a higher level than the other named executive officers to reflect his additional responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer. In addition, his 2010 compensation included a discretionary bonus and special RSU [restricted stock units] award in recognition of his outstanding performance during Mr. Jobs’ medical leave of absence in 2009.”

Anna N. Danielova, assistant professor of finance at DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton, Ontario, points out, however, that while Jobs’ pay structure pales in comparison to other of Apple’s top executives, at least with respect to salary and bonus; his inside ownership of Apple shares makes him a billionaire.

“I think if we compare total compensation of CEOS, then Steve Jobs might come out somewhere on top,” she said. “In fact, according to Forbes he [was] the 42nd richest person in U.S. in 2010.”

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