Tim Cook second in Fortune 500 CEO pay rankings, earned $770M in 2021

iPhone event
iPhone event (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Fortune has released its list of the top 10 highest-paid CEOs on the Fortune 500.
  • CEO Tim Cook came second earning a cool $770.5 million.
  • His earnings were dwarfed by Elon Musk, who took the top spot with a whopping $23.5 billion.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took home $770.5 million in compensation in 2021, earning enough to put him second in a list of the top ten Fortune 500 CEOs.

Fortune figures published this week reveal that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was the most highly compensated CEO, earnings an eye-watering $23.5 billion thanks to options on Tesla stock awarded in 2018.

Cook followed up in second:

Cook has been CEO of Apple Inc. since 2011. He earned $770.5 million in 2021 alone, mostly as a part of a 10-year grant of shares worth $1.7 billion. But his incredible pay package may be justified by Apple's stock market performance under Cook: The tech company's market value during his tenure has increased by $2.2 trillion.

By way of comparison, last year Cook earned "just" $265 million and was only eighth on the list. In both cases, Cook's compensation was largely made up of stock awards.

Under Cook's tenure, the company has put out some its best iPhones, iPads, and more. It has also begun the transition to Apple silicon with its new MacBook Air with M1 and MacBook Air with M1, the MacBook Pro (2021) and more.

Apple will hold its WWDC 2022 conference in June, where it will announce its new versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS, as well as possibly some shiny new hardware.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9