Apple’s Cook gets $22 million bonus

Apple Inc. awarded Chief Operating
Officer Timothy Cook a cash-and-stock bonus worth about US$22 million for
filling in while Steve Jobs, the consumer electronics giant’s chief executive, was
on medical leave.

The bonus, disclosed in a
regulatory filing Friday, gives Mr. Cook $5 million in cash and 75,000 restricted
stock units, half of which will vest on 10 March, 2011, and the other half on 10
March, 2012. At Friday’s closing price, those shares would be worth a little
more than $17 million.

The bonus comes as Apple launches
one of its most important products in recent memory, the iPad tablet computer.
On Friday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company began accepting pre-orders for
the iPad, which will serve as a media player, book reader and Web surfing
device. The iPad, which has been the subject of intense media attention this
year, will ship on 3 April.

In a brief document outlining the
bonus, Apple said Mr. Jobs nominated Mr. Cook for the bonus “in
recognition of his outstanding performance in assuming the day-to-day
operations of the company for the period in fiscal 2009 during which Mr. Jobs
was on medical leave of absence.”

Mr. Jobs, a co-founder of the
company, took medical leave in the first half of last year, returning to the company
in late June. Mr. Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, received a liver
transplant while on leave.

During the leave, Mr. Cook emerged
as one of the most visible stars on Apple’s deep bench and won praise for his
ability to make Apple’s sprawling operations move on time. He has established
himself as the CEO-in-waiting since his stint taking over for Mr. Jobs last

Mr. Cook joined Apple in 1998,
winning a promotion to senior vice president of operations in 2002. In 2004,
his responsibilities were expanded to include Apple’s Macintosh division. He
was named COO in 2005.

On Friday, Apple shares rose 0.5
per cent to $226.70.