So did Tim Cook really just get awarded $378 million by Apple’s board? Well, no. He got awarded much more than that. Or perhaps much less. At this point, it’s hard to tell.
Cook got a salary of $900,000 and a grant of Apple stock worth $376 million. But he can’t go out and spend it right now. He gets control of the first half if he remains as CEO for five years. He gets control of the second half if he remains CEO for 10 years. And whether his stock is worth more than $376 million in 2022 or less depends on how Apple performs over the next 10 years. This is supposed to incentivize Cook to do a good job. But Cook has, presumably, been doing a good job over the last few years, too. That’s why he got promoted to CEO. And he was doing that good job without $376 million in stock options as an incentive.