Four Apple execs dominate best-paid corporate jobs in America

Four top paid Apple execs

Although Apple compensated its CEO Tim Cook for the calendar year 2012 with a $1.36 million base salary and $2.8 million in compensation related to incentive plans, he didn’t made the top five highest-rewarded corporate executives list in Standard & Poor’s top 500 companies. Instead, per Bloomberg’s report filed Monday, four members of the Apple leadership dominate that list.

To be clear, these numbers count both base salaries and stock options companies usually give to their top dogs as sort of a retainer. Specifically, Bob Mansfield, Peter Oppenheimer, Bruce Sewell and Jeffrey Williams all made the top five highest-paid execs list, according to fiscal 2012 compensation figures for top earners filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission…

Bloomberg notes that some eighty percent of the S&P 500 companies had submitted their numbers as of April 12. The figures include base salary, bonus, equity and other benefits for the 2012 fiscal year filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for 2,050 executives at 410 companies.

Mansfield was #2 with a cool $85.5 million, Sewell ranked #3 with a package worth $69 million, Williams came in fourth at $68.7 million and Oppenheimer ranked fifth with base salary of $805,400 salary, stock awards worth $66.2 million, a $1.6 million bonus and other benefits valued at about $16,000.

Number one?

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, whose compensation package is valued at $96.2 million.

As for Tim Cook, he is way down, ranked 1,016th with a $4.17 million pay package.

However, his long-term restricted stock is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars – $425 million at today’s stock price, to be precise. Cook’s $376 million compensation in 2011 and $52 million in the year before was given to him in stock options and these won’t vest until 2016 and 2021, respectively.

It’s interesting that Mansfield’s compensation is almost entirely stock-based, filing as the second-largest 2012 compensation package in the S&P 500. Mansfield is crucial to Apple: he leads the newly created Technologies unit which includes Apple’s wireless and semiconductor teams. He’s also believed to have taken interest in wearable technology.

iPhone 5 promo (Bob Mansfield 002)

Specifically, Mansfield is allegedly leading a group of more than a hundred engineers, including former Adobe chief technical officer Kevin Lynch. This team is believed to have been tasked with the creation of an iWatch and researching wearable technologies.

Bruce Sewell, 54, is Apple’s chief litigator and “field marshall” in the company’s thermonuclear war on Android. In January, Sewell joined the board of Vail Resorts, a chain of ski resorts. Prior to joining Apple, Sewell was a long-time lead lawyer for Intel before leaving abruptly in 2009, reportedly over the chip giant’s high-profile loss of an antitrust case AMD filed against it. Sewell’s greatest legal victory at Apple: the $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung Electronics in August 2012.


Jeff Williams, 49, was Cook’s right-hand man back when the Apple CEO was managing Apple’s supply chain. After Cook became the CEO, Williams assumed many of his duties and is now largely responsible for managing Apple’s supply chain and making sure that trains run on time.

jeff williams

Peter Oppenheimer, 50, is Apple’s finance boss who manages the company’s $137.1 billion cash pile. He also oversees Apple’s treasury, investor relations, tax, information systems, internal audit and facilities functions. Oppenheimer started with Apple in 1996 as controller for the Americas, and in 1997 was promoted to vice president and Worldwide Sales controller and then to corporate controller.


It’s interesting that all four executives have base salaries lower than $1 million.

On the surface, it’s a rather unusual policy at a time when other companies’ CEOs receive multi-million dollar pay checks. Base 2012 salary for all senior Apple executives has been raised from $800,000 to $875,000 following the August 2012 management shake-up, SEC filings reveal.

Additionally, after Steve Jobs died Apple awarded a million shares of stock to its seven top execs. These options are scheduled to vest in equal parts in 2013 and 2016.

Even with Apple’s shares losing their value in recent months, these options quickly add up. Apple shouldn’t be blamed for tapping stock options in order to retain its key executives because any defection of key talent Steve Jobs hired would no doubt be viewed as a doomsday scenario.

As for Apple’s Worldwide Marketing honcho Phil Schiller and Internet Software and Service head Eddy Cue, Bloomberg did not include them in the rankings because Apple does not report their total compensation.