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Apple chief executive and Alabama native Tim Cook laughs with a group before an Alabama Academy of Honor ceremony at the state Capitol in this Oct. 27, 2014 file photo taken in Montgomery, Ala
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
It’s good to be the Cook.

Tim Cook just unlocked $135 million in bonus pay from Apple

David Yanofsky
By David Yanofsky

Editor of code, visuals, and data

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, just got his five-year anniversary bonus. It was big one.

In a regulatory document (pdf) filed Aug. 26, Cook’s lawyer, Sam Whittington, indicated that his client converted 1.26 million restricted stock units to common shares—worth $135 million based on Apple’s Aug. 26 closing share price of $106.94. He sold 990,117 of the shares over two days to net $35.8 million after tax withholding.

The majority of the restricted stock units were awarded on the occasion of Cook’s fifth anniversary as the company’s CEO. Another large portion was awarded because Apple outperformed at least two-thirds of the companies in the S&P 500.

Executives sell their company’s stock for many different reasons: rebalancing their portfolio, buying a home, paying taxes. It is not an inherently worrisome action for investors. Reached by phone, Whittington declined to say why Cook sold the shares and directed a request for a comment to Apple public relations. The company did not immediately respond to an inquiry.

Including the sales made for tax withholding, Cook grossed $106.7 million. The transactions leaves Cook with 269,883 more shares than he had before converting his stock award, so the entire transaction could still be seen as a net investment in Apple by its CEO. Cook now holds more than 1.3 million shares of Apple and 3.5 million unvested restricted stock units.

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