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Tim Cook gets a pay raise amid better iPhone profits

Apple's CEO got a 46 percent increase in total income and was told to fly private for security reasons.


Apple CEO Tim Cook chats with attendees at the iPhone X event.

James Martin/CNET

Apple gave its CEO a salary bump as sales and profit picked up this year.

Tim Cook received a total of $12.8 million in salary, incentive pay and other compensation, an increase of about 46 percent from last year when earnings fell, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday. Adding in $89.2 million worth of shares that vested, Cook technically brought home a whopping $102 million in 2017.

The news comes as Apple raked in nearly 60 percent of all profits generated in the global smartphone market in the third quarter, according to Counterpoint Research, although sales were mainly boosted by an increased popularity of its older iPhone models. With that said, Apple does make $151 more than Samsung, the next top performer, for every unit sold. Apple could have made even more this quarter given it that coincides with the launch of Apple's anniversary phone, coupled with holiday sales. Analysts said six million iPhone Xs were sold over Black Friday weekend.

While better sales are good news for Apple, the company also believes it means that Cook's security could be at risk. So the iPhone maker now wants Cook to fly private for "all business and personal travel," according to the filing. Cook isn't the first Apple CEO to use a private jet for air travel. The late Steve Jobs was gifted with a Gulfstream V airplane by the Cupertino-based company "in recognition of his service to the company."

Apple doled out rewards to five other top executives besides Cook. Each of the five received a $1 million base salary compared with Cook's $3 million, but they each got a boost that brings their total compensation to around $24.2 million each.

When asked for comment, an Apple representative referred CNET back to the company's proxy statement included in the SEC filing.

"Our executive compensation program is designed to reward performance in a simple and effective way," Apple said in the statement (PDF). "It reflects the unparalleled size, scope, and success of Apple's business and the importance of our executive officers operating as a high-performing team, while focusing on key measures of profitability and the creation of shareholder value."

Apple's annual shareholders meeting is set for February 13 in the Steve Jobs Theater on its new campus in Cupertino. 

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