Astronomical pay packages for corporate CEOs have become a matter of public and political debate.
With negative publicity increasingly attached to exorbitant compensation, it may not be surprising that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook wants to give up a dividend payment certain to make other CEOs envious and critics froth at the mouth.
In documents filed with the SEC today, Apple’s compensation committee agreed that a $2.65 dividend on Apple common shares should also be paid to Apple employees who received restrictive stock units as part of their compensation packages.
But not to Cook.
The board awarded Cook 1 million in such shares earlier this year, giving him a total of 1.125 million restricted share units, Fortune notes. The documents show that Cook specifically requested that his restricted stock units be exempted from the dividend payments.
Cook’s restrictive share units don’t vest for 10 years. Still, by rejecting the dividend, the Apple CEO is turning away $75 million.
But don’t worry about Cook, a Wall Street Journal/Hay Group survey of executive compensation released this month ranked him as America’s highest-paid CEO, holding Apple shares currently valued at well over $500 million.