FORTUNE -- Remember the stories in the tech press last year that named Apple's (AAPL) Tim Cook the highest-paid CEO of 2011? Remember the headlines a year later announcing that Cook had taken a 99% pay cut?
The problem with both narratives is that they treated the 1 million RSUs (restrictive stock units) Cook was granted in August 2011, after Steve Jobs stepped down, as if they were the same as cash in hand. They are not. Half of them will vest in 2016, the other half in 2021 -- if Cook lasts that long. Until then, those 1 million shares are worthless.
Well, the tech press has done it again.
On Monday, Bloomberg posted a story (repeated by more than a dozen newspaper and blogs) claiming that four Apple senior VPs are among the five highest-paid executives in the S&P 500. The executives named were Bob Mansfield, Bruce Sewell, Jeffrey Williams and Peter Oppenheimer. "Their pay jumped," according to Bloomberg, "after receiving 150,000 in restricted stock units shortly after Jobs passed away."
No, their "pay" didn't jump. Their total compensation packages may have, but only if they stay with Apple long enough to collect them. That's the point of "retention" incentives: they encourage executives to stick around.
Also: How Tim Cook incentivized several Apple execs to stay; did Kleiner Perkins 'fire' Ellen Pao?
HP's Whitman: Wait until 2014 for turnaround [GIGAOM]
"We believe that 2014 will be the year you will see real recovery and expansion at HP. You should see every business unit recover and grow. Our investments in R&D and IT will begin to kick in. And we will have demonstrated an ability to manage costs in line with MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Oct 4, 2012 5:30 AM ET
Apple watchers are scratching their heads over a surprise executive decision
FORTUNE -- It was like a game of musical chairs in which a seat is added rather than removed when the music stops.
In a press release that came two months to the day after Tim Cook announced the retirement of Apple's (AAPL) long-time hardware chief, Bob Mansfield, Cook let it be known Monday that Mansfield isn't leaving the company after MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 28, 2012 8:42 AM ET
Bob Mansfield is the second key executive to leave since Steve Jobs died
FORTUNE -- One of the concerns after Steve Jobs died was whether Apple's (AAPL) institutional values -- as embodied by his hand-picked executive team -- would survive his passing.
The team lost a key member when Ron Johnson, who built the Apple Stores, departed in November run J.C. Penney. Because Johnson made his decision to leave public nine months MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 29, 2012 8:17 AM ET
The head of hardware engineering sold 99% of his beneficially owned shares on Monday
Steve Jobs may be content to let his 5,546,451 shares of Apple (AAPL) rise and fall with the vagaries of the stock market, but some of his executive staff are a bit more attentive to their holdings.
One of the more pro-active traders is Bob Mansfield, Apple's senior vice president in charge of Mac and iPhone hardware engineering. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 27, 2011 1:59 PM ET
An options windfall for Apple's top Mac and iPhone hardware engineer
Several senior Apple (AAPL) executives -- including Betsy Rafael (controller), Jeffrey Williams (operations senior VP) and Bertrand Serlet (software engineering senior VP) -- took advantage of the company's recent record share prices to exercise some of the stock options they've been sitting on.
But none saw quite the windfall that Bob Mansfield enjoyed last Thursday. According to an SEC Form 4 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 26, 2010 8:06 AM ET
"You know, I think it wouldn't be a party," Steve Jobs told Fortune in February, describing the future of his company if, as he put it, Jobs got hit by a bus. "But there are really capable people at Apple. ... My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors."
Life at Apple without Jobs may be more than just a hypothetical. The 53-year-old Silicon Valley MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 24, 2008 11:20 AM ET
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