Apple boss Tim Cook gets £70m to stay after co-founder Steves Jobs' death

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Apple boss Tim Cook has collected nearly £70 million as part of a deal for him to keep the iPhone maker at the top of the tech industry following the death of co-founder Steve Jobs.

Mr Cook’s $89.6 million (£69.4  million) windfall was revealed in a regulatory filing following the sale of 560,000 of his Apple shares in the US. He received half of the money because Apple’s stock performed so well over three years, and the other half simply for staying in his job.

The papers, seen by the Bloomberg agency, reveal that Mr Cook receives annual payouts from a huge stock award — the maximum allowed — after he succeeded Mr Jobs following his death in 2011, aged 56.

For the past three years, the tech giant’s shares have returned 71 per cent, making them among the top-performing stocks.

Steve Jobs who died in 2011 aged 56 (AFP/Getty Images)

This has led to Apple becoming established as the world’s most valuable company, thanks largely to the enduring popularity of the iPhone introduced 10 years ago by Mr Jobs. 

Earlier this month, the firm’s shares soared to a record high of $159.75 (£123.34) each after it reported a third-quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates amid forecasts of strong iPhone sales.

About a third of  the annual shares Mr Cook, 56, receives are tied to Apple’s relative stock performance against the S&P 500, an index of 500 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or the Nasdaq stock market index.

Apple outperformed at least two-thirds of businesses in the S&P 500 over the past three years.

As long as Mr Cook remains chief executive, he will receive hundreds of thousands of shares a year from a large pot of stock until 2020, followed by 1.25 million shares the following year as a final contract payment.

Apple has also set aside shares to foot Mr Cook’s tax bill of $46.4 million.

The payout is his fourth consecutive one at the top threshold, but he said in 2015 that he planned to give most of his fortune to charity.

News of his windfall comes ahead of the anticipated launch of the iPhone 8 next month. 

The latest device is tipped to feature a new design that ditches the physical home button and has an edge-to-edge OLED display that brings it closer in look to Samsung’s S8. Other features include augmented reality applications that allow a high-definition digital world to be overlaid.

Commentators believe the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner on the existing home button could be dropped in favour of face scanning that uses a 3D system to log the owner’s  features.

This would allow for contactless  payment, unlocking the device and opening secure apps all to be done by a person’s face in milliseconds.

But the New York Times has reported that these top-end features will give the phone a starting price of $999 (£780).

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