Tim Cook second highest-paid U.S. CEO behind Elon Musk, and it's not close

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A new Bloomberg report has revealed how tech CEOs dominate the list of highest-paid leaders in the U.S.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook ranked second, having earned $133M in 2019.
  • His earnings pale in comparison to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

A new Bloomberg report has revealed that contrary to popular belief, tech CEOs, rather than those of Wall Street, are some of the highest-paid company heads around.

According to the report:

Rightly or wrongly, Wall Street CEOs are still excoriated as greedy fat cats who exemplify everything that's wrong with executive pay. But look around corporate America these days, and you'll find any number of executives, particularly in tech, taking home far more than those bankers ever made—even during the boom years before the financial crisis—without a fraction of the scrutiny or the outrage.

Apple CEO Tim Cook landed second in Bloomberg's list of Highest-paid CEOs and executives in 2019. Tim Cook reportedly earned a whopping $133,727,869 in 2019. According to Bloomberg's breakdown, around $3 million of that was base salary, and a further $7.7 million was a bonus. Shave off just shy of a million in "perks", and you are left with a $122.2 million chunk of stock awards:

Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook ranks second, the index shows, mostly thanks to an equity grant he got in 2011.

As Bloomberg notes, Wall Street CEOs often get criticized "as greedy fat cats who exemplify everything that's wrong with executive pay", yet only one CEO from the finance sector makes the top ten.

As noted, Tim Cook's 2019 earnings pale in comparison to the takings of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who's $595.3 million in 2019 earnings stems from a pay deal a couple of years back:

The money stems from the pay deal he scored a couple of years ago: A promise of a haul in the tens of billions of dollars if Tesla Inc. became one of the world's most valuable firms.

Under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple has weathered a couple of investor scares and the coronavirus pandemic on its way to becoming the most valuable company in America, with a market cap of over $1.6 trillion.

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