(Bloomberg) – Nine years after Steve Jobs stepped down and put Tim Cook at the helm of Apple Inc., the company is more valuable than ever – and so is Cook.
Apple stock valuation rose nearly 5% last week, leaving Jobs co-founded 44 years ago at its parents̵7; home in California on the eve of the stock market momentum: a market value of nearly 2 trillion dollars.
It was valued at about $ 350 billion when Jobs died. Cook, meanwhile, has joined one of the most elite clubs for CEOs who did not actually find the companies they run: its net worth has eclipsed $ 1 billion, according to estimates by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Cook’s net worth estimate is based on an analysis of regulatory records and applying the market performance of a typical investor rich in his stock proceeds. Cook, 59, said in 2015 that he plans to donate most of his fortune and has already donated millions of dollars worth of Apple stock. His fortune may be lower if he has made other undisclosed charitable gifts.
Josh Rosenstock, an Apple spokesman, declined to comment.
“This technology cycle has been much bigger and longer than I thought,” said Hussein Kanji, a partner at venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures who expressed caution about Apple’s long-term prospects after Jobs left company. “Of all these stocks, Apple has become the largest money-making machine in history.”
Apple’s market value and Cook’s assets reflect the rise of FAANG stocks, a phrase that did not even exist in the Jobs era. He also comes after Cook and his other Big Tech CEOs – Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com Inc., Sundar Pichai of Alphabet Inc. and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook Inc. – face antitrust investigations into what their critics characterize as monopolistic powers.
While Bezos and Zuckerberg have large stakes in the companies they founded, Cook’s path to the 10-figure club was more continuous. Much of his appraised wealth comes from the equity prices he has received since joining Apple in 1998, where he has drawn appraisals for owning the company’s complex supply chain.
He received a massive limited stock award on his first day as CEO. Equity has paid in annual increments, with a part of them conditioned on Apple shares that exceed at least two-thirds of firms in the S&P 500. By preventing a sudden drop in Apple stock price, Cook is ready to received his ninth salary from the award, consisting of 560,000 shares, later this month.
About half of that is likely to be held for taxes, but the rest should increase Cook’s fortune by another $ 100 million. He currently owns 847,969 shares directly, or about 0.02% of Apple shares, valued at about $ 375 million. Revenue from previous stock sales, dividends and other compensation adds another $ 650 million to its net worth, according to Bloomberg estimates. Apple stock rose 1.4% to $ 450.79 at 2:07 a.m. Monday.
The first part of Cook is small compared to the founders of giant positions like control of Bezos, Zuckerberg and Tesla Inc. to Elon Musk in their respective companies. Apple shares are widely distributed among various investors and executives, so the most valuable company in the world has mined very few billionaires among its employees.
When Jobs retired in August 2011 and died shortly thereafter, Cook had already filled as interim CEO on several occasions. But investors and analysts were worried that Apple would not be able to innovate as much as it did in the past.
While Apple over the past decade has not unveiled a new product as dense as the iPhone, the company is still thriving. Cook has overseen the development of devices like the iPhone X and Apple Watch, new services like Apple Music, and research into new frontiers such as self-driving cars and augmented reality glasses.
Even the pandemic, which has blocked many other parts of the economy, has been a boon to Apple and other big tech companies as people have become even more reliable in their products and services.
Their recent success contrasts with the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus: a growing series of bankruptcies, tens of millions of unemployed, and massive public deficits.
When Apple reported the results recently, Cook acknowledged the difficulties faced by legions of households and businesses.
“We do not have a zero-sum approach to prosperity,” he said in a conference call. “Especially in cases like this, we are focused on raising the pie, making sure our success is not just our success.”
(Stock price updates in paragraph 10.)
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