SAN FRANCISCO Dec 27 Apple Inc CEO Tim
Cook earned roughly the same in 2013 as in 2012, but lost part
of his performance-based stock award during a year in which
intense competition and margin pressure bludgeoned the iPhone
Cook took home $4.25 million, including a base salary of
$1.4 million and a performance bonus of $2.8 million, roughly on
par with 2012, the company said in a preliminary proxy statement
But he gave up about 7,100 shares tied to an annual
performance-dependent award, based on shareholder returns from
Aug. 24 of 2012 to Aug. 25, 2013. Apple's stock lost a quarter
of its value over that one-year period.
The company also advised shareholders to vote down a
resolution by activist investor Carl Icahn, who proposed the
iPhone maker buy back $50 billion worth of shares in fiscal
2014. It was the first time the company had publicly voiced its
response to Icahn's demands.
Apple argued on Friday it has already returned $43 billion
in dividends and share repurchases over the first six months of
its roughly $100 billion capital return program.
The "dynamic competitive landscape and the company's rapid
pace of innovation require unprecedented investment, flexibility
and access to resources," Apple said in advising shareholders to
reject Icahn's proposal.
Known for decades of strong-arm tactics, including proxy
fights, Icahn has repeatedly made it clear that his proposal is
not a sign that he stands against Apple's management. The
billionaire has discussed the issue with Cook in past months,
arguing via tweets that a buyback of as much as $150 billion is
within the company's means and would prop up its stock.
Since taking over from the late Steve Jobs, Cook has steered
Apple in a more investor-friendly direction, including the
establishment of one of the industry's biggest capital return
Apple's board in 2012 granted Cook an award of one million
restricted stock units (RSUs) - one of the largest pay packages
for an executive in a decade, intended to signal its confidence
in Cook in the wake of the late Steve Jobs.
The award vests annually, but part of the grant depends on
shareholder returns versus a basket of Apple's corporate peers,
including Cisco Systems Inc and Google Inc.
But Apple has come under increasing strain from rivals like
Samsung Electronics and Huawei in key
markets, while Amazon.com Inc and other manufacturers
are using Google's Android software to launch competing tablets.
Apple's profit and margins slid in the September quarter
despite selling 33.8 million iPhones. Sources have said demand
for the $100 cheaper, brightly hued iPhone 5C has severely
lagged sales for the top-tier 5S, spurring concerns about the
iPhone's market positioning and its ability to compete with a
growing profusion of lower-cost rivals.
This month, it finally secured a deal with China Mobile
after protracted negotiations, a deal that should
enlarge its footprint in the world's largest telecoms market.