updated 10:49 am EDT, Wed May 8, 2013
Company shells out to retain key executives
Apple's Peter Oppenheimer was the highest-paid chief financial officer during 2012, according to Bloomberg. The executive received compensation worth a theoretical $68.6 million, roughly 16 times what Apple CEO Tim Cook received for the year. By comparison, Oppenheimer's closest competition -- Oracle CFO Safra Catz -- was given $51.7 million, while Google CFO Patrick Pichette was granted $38.7 million.
Most of Oppenheimer's compensation came in the form of stock grants, which are not redeemable for years to come, are dependent on his continued employment with the company and whose value will fluctuate with the stock market. Apple approved large grants to several top executives in 2011 and 2012, hoping to get them to stay with the company for several more years. Cook, for instance, must remain CEO until 2021 to get the full value of his compensation package.
The company appears to have been concerned that people like Cook and Oppenheimer might leave in the aftermath of Steve Jobs' resignation and death. Even with large handouts to executives, the company has seen some important departures, including two at its own behest -- iOS head Scott Forstall and retail chief John Browett were both pushed out of Apple late last year.