Apple considering raise for Jobs?

Apple's annual report reveals that CEO Steve Jobs holds 5.5 million shares in the company but hasn't sold anything since 1997, which might lead the board of directors to supplant his $1 a year salary with something special.

After years of drawing just a dollar in salary, Apple CEO Steve Jobs could be in store for a raise.

Apple filed its annual report for its 2007 fiscal year Thursday afternoon, and hinted in a section about executive compensation that Jobs could be in for some real money fairly soon. "Because Mr. Jobs's continued leadership is critical to Apple, the Compensation Committee is considering additional compensation arrangements for him," the company wrote.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs can afford plenty of iPod Touches, but he might be up for a raise. Ina Fried/CNET News.com

Now, it's not like Jobs is hurting for money. According to Forbes' most recent list of the world's billionaires, Jobs ranks 132nd with an estimated net worth of $5.7 billion, $4.7 billion of which comes from holdings in Disney.

The annual report notes that he holds 5.5 million shares of Apple stock through a series of restricted stock awards over the years--some more controversial than others--that have vested. But it also points out that he hasn't sold a single share of Apple stock in the 10 years since he rejoined the company.

The closing price of Apple's stock Thursday? $164.30. So if Jobs were to bail out of Apple's stock tomorrow (this isn't going to happen), he'd pocket $903,650,000.

An Apple representative didn't immediately return a call seeking comment on any potential changes to Jobs' compensation package. I can't imagine that more money would really make a difference in keeping Jobs at Apple, given the fact that he has barely collected enough cash over a decade to buy anything in one of Apple's stores. And if the guy was seriously entertaining the idea of taking a new job to get a raise I'm sure there are 500 or so corporations that would be glad to set executive compensation records for the chance to bring Jobs onboard.

But it's also interesting that Jobs doesn't have one of those automatic sales plans in place, which most executives of his stature use to diversify their holdings in the company and bank some billions for a rainy day. This also protects them from allegations of profiteering if they decide to sell some stock just before a material corporate event takes place, since the dates of the sale were determined well in advance.

How are they going to pay him? In 2000, Apple's board awarded Jobs a Gulfstream V worth about $46 million for turning the company around. Any stock option award made to Jobs right now is going to carry a high price, considering where Apple's stock is these days. He's probably got plenty of black turtlenecks and fruit smoothies , but maybe it's time for a new plane, or perhaps, a real salary.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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