Apple CEO Tim Cook waved as he opened the doors of the newly renovated Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City on September 20, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Kena Betancur/AFP) (Photo source should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
KENA BETANCUR | AFP | Getty Images
Apple shareholders voted on Tuesday to approve the remuneration of Apple executives, including the equity package announced last year. If the company achieves certain goals, it may give CEO Tim Cook 1
Voting is non-binding and advisory. Apple shareholders also rejected a shareholder proposal that Apple opposed, which would force the company to reduce executive compensation instead of the median pay for Apple employees.
The expected vote is another sign that Apple shareholders are satisfied with Apple’s management and CEO. Apple has a market value of more than US$2.1 trillion, and the recently released quarterly report shows that even in a year of the pandemic, revenue and sales of each product category have increased by US$114.4 billion.
Apple’s board of directors strongly supported Cook’s compensation plan in a document on the grounds that Cook’s return to shareholders from the time he took over as Apple’s CEO in 2011 to September 2020 was 867%, including dividends.
Cook also said that Apple plans to increase the company’s dividend. Cook said that the total dividend in the past four quarters exceeded $14 billion. The company has paid a dividend of $0.205 per share in the last two quarters.
Covid-19 and Apple’s business success during the pandemic were the subject of Cook’s speech to shareholders. Last year, Cook said that the pandemic is the most challenging environment in Apple’s history.
Cook said: “After a year, you have to stop and say wow.”
Cook said in the Q&A session that although Apple has adapted well to remote work (Apple employees have been working from home since March), the company still “can’t wait to get together in the office again”. Compared with rival technology companies that have announced plans to move to a remote work model, Apple still focuses on the office after the pandemic.
Cook said that one of the benefits of working in the office is the occasional interaction between employees.
Cook also talked about Apple’s acquisition strategy. Cook said that Apple has acquired 100 companies in the past six years. Cook said that eventually, Apple will acquire a company every 3 to 4 weeks, the main purpose of which is to acquire technology and talent.
In response to shareholders’ questions about whether Apple faces regulatory challenges in controlling its iPhone App Store, Cook said that Apple does not have a monopoly. Cook said: “Although the review is always fair, the allegations of these facts fall on a reasonable review of the facts.”