Apple locks in new CEO Tim Cook through 2021

Awards top exec 1 million shares -- vested in 2015 and 2021 -- now worth $383 million

Apple's board of directors last Friday moved to lock in new CEO Tim Cook through mid-2021 by awarding him 1 million shares of the company's stock.

"In connection with Mr. Cook's appointment as Chief Executive Officer, the Board awarded Mr. Cook 1,000,000 restricted stock units," Apple said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Half of the 1 million "restricted stock units," or RSUs, will be awarded to Cook in August 2015 if he is still with Apple, while the second half will be given to him in August 2021, again only if he is still employed by the company.

At Friday's closing price, the 1 million shares would be worth over $383 million.

Restricted share units are not awarded at the time of the grant, but instead are given when they're vested. The shares will be worth their then-current price, which could, of course, be dramatically different than their value Friday.

Apple's SEC filing also noted that former CEO Steve Jobs had resigned, but would continue as an Apple employee; that Jobs was named chairman of the board of directors; and that Cook has been promoted to CEO from chief operating officer.

For 2010, Cook's total compensation, including his $800,000 salary as COO, a $5 million bonus for his work while Jobs was out on a medical leave during 2009, and various stock awards, totaled just over $59 million.

According to a January 2011 filing with the SEC, Cook's 1 million-share award will eventually give him a stake in the company almost one-fifth that of Jobs.

At Apple's current share price, Jobs' holdings of 5.5 million shares are worth $2.1 billion.

Jobs' resignation last week and Cook's promotion were not unexpected. Last January, after Jobs went on his second medical leave in two years, several analysts, including Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co., predicted that Jobs would step down during 2011, and that Cook would be elevated to the CEO slot.

Cook, 50, has been with Apple since 1998. He is also a director on the board of Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

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