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Top Apple employees take home bonuses

The Mac maker awards more than 200 of its top workers a bonus despite the fact that the company fell short of targets it had established for such payments.

Apple Computer has awarded more than 200 of its top workers a bonus, despite the fact that the company fell short of targets it had established for such payments. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Apple said last year it awarded employees in its incentive bonus program a "special recognition bonus" amounting to between 3 percent and 5 percent of their base salary, despite the fact that the company failed to reach its stated objectives. The bonus plan applied to 230 executives at the director level or higher, but excluded the company's senior executive officers such as CEO Steve Jobs and his top deputies.

"The company did not meet the metrics specified in the Incentive Bonus Plan," Apple said in the filing. "However, the (compensation) committee believed that the employees participating in the plan had significantly contributed to the company's overall performance and that external economic and business conditions may have produced results that were unrelated to employee performance. As a result, the committee approved a special recognition bonus for all plan participants."

Lower-ranking Apple workers who take part in a separate bonus program were eligible for bonuses, although the total pool was reduced because Apple missed its companywide targets, the company said.

As for Apple's top executives, Jobs again earned a salary of $1 in 2002. His income reflects $2.2 million in bonuses related to the jet that Apple purchased for him several years ago. In all, Apple spent more than $90 million to buy the jet for Jobs and pay his taxes for the plane. As part of a plan announced last week, nearly 27.5 million of Jobs' stock options have been canceled in exchange for the promise of 5 million shares of restricted stock in three years' time. Apple also initiated a program that will allow other employees to exchange their below-market value options for new ones.

Timothy D. Cook, who has taken on responsibility for Apple's sales and operations, saw a jump in pay. He earned a salary of $563,829 in 2002, up from $452,219 in 2001. Avadis Tevanian, senior vice president of software engineering, saw his salary increase to $492,212 in 2002 from $460,873 a year earlier.

Several other senior executives saw their salaries decline slightly in 2002. Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson's salary dipped to $656,631 from $657,039 a year earlier. Jonathan Rubinstein, the company's senior vice president of hardware, earned $452,588 in 2002, down from $469,737.

Last week, Apple announced that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore had joined its board of directors. The company said it is seeking another independent director.