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Tim Cook opts out of $75M worth of company dividends

Apple has begun a new dividend program for restricted stock units, but according to a new filing, CEO Tim Cook will not participate.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

Tim Cook has twice been placed atop the list of highest-paid CEOs in recent weeks, and a new legal filing suggests he's not particularly greedy for more.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today, Apple notes that Cook will not be taking the dividend equivalents on his restricted units, a detail of considerable importance given the grant of 1 million restricted stock units last year.

"At Mr. Cook's request, none of his restricted stock units will participate in dividend equivalents," the company said in the filing, which was flagged by MacRumors. "Assuming a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share over the vesting periods of his 1.125 million outstanding restricted stock units, Mr. Cook will forego approximately $75 million in dividend equivalent value."

That massive share stock grant, which was unveiled in a January proxy filing, has restrictions that keep Cook from collecting the first half of the shares until 2016, with the other half in 2021.

Per the filing, the amount Cook would have received is part of a newly approved amendment that applies to outstanding and unvested restricted stock units. These units get a pay-out equal to the dividend on the company's common stock, but that amount cannot be collected until the stock vests. The decision was made by the compensation committee of Apple's board, a committee on which Cook is not a member.

In late March, Apple announced plans to use some of its $100 billion cash pile to provide a $2.65 per share quarterly dividend beginning in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1. That same plan also included a $10 billion share repurchase program, which begins in September.