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Apple CEO’s modest $4.2m pay is just part of picture

Apple Inc.’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, earned a salary of $1.36 million and received a cash bonus of $2.8 million in 2012, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Eric Risberg/Associated Press/File

Apple Inc.’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, earned a salary of $1.36 million and received a cash bonus of $2.8 million in 2012, according to a recent regulatory filing.

NEW YORK — In 2012, ­Apple became the most highly valued public company in history and generated $156.5 billion in revenue — nearly 50 percent more than in 2011.

So how much did Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief executive, take home?

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A relatively modest $4.2 million in pay, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The filing, made in advance of Apple’s annual shareholder meeting Feb. 27, revealed that Cook earned a $1.36 million salary and got a $2.8 million cash bonus.

That may seem to be a steep decline from the $378 million package that Cook was awarded in 2011, one of the largest on record, bolstered by a stock package that was worth $376.2 million at the time.

But the stock will vest over a 10-year period. Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester ­Research, said that this move was in line with Apple’s overall strategy, from its product development plans to its long-term goals for the executive at the helm.

“If you want to create success for the company, you want to create it based on the long-term success of the company,’’ he said. ‘‘You put a big carrot on the horizon, about 10 years out, and go from there.’’

Gillett also said that ­although Cook had not received any additional stock benefits this year, the board had increased his salary to $1.36 million from $900,000. He also pointed out that for a period of time, the company’s former chief executive and founder, Steve Jobs, had earned a salary of just $1.

“If you were handing out ­gigantic nine-figure stock deals every year, it would send the wrong message to customers and shareholders,’’ he said.

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