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Apple's COO gets $22m bonus

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Apple Inc. awarded Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook a cash-and-stock bonus worth about $22 million for filling in while Steve Jobs, the consumer electronics giant’s chief executive, was on medical leave.

The bonus, disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday, gives Mr. Cook $5 million in cash and 75,000 restricted stock units, half of which will vest on March 10, 2011, and the other half on March 10, 2012. At Friday’s closing price, those shares would be worth a little more than $17 million.

The bonus comes as Apple launches one of its most important products in recent memory, the iPad tablet computer. On Friday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company began accepting pre-orders for the iPad, which will serve as a media player, book reader and Web surfing device. The iPad, which has been the subject of intense media attention this year, will ship on April 3.

In a brief document outlining the bonus, Apple said Mr. Jobs nominated Mr. Cook for the bonus “in recognition of his outstanding performance in assuming the day-to-day operations of the company for the period in fiscal 2009 during which Mr. Jobs was on medical leave of absence.”

Mr. Jobs, a co-founder of the company, took medical leave in the first half of last year, returning to the company in late June. Mr. Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, received a liver transplant while on leave.

During the leave, Mr. Cook emerged as one of the most visible stars on Apple’s deep bench and won praise for his ability to make Apple’s sprawling operations move on time. He has established himself as the CEO-in-waiting since his stint taking over for Mr. Jobs last year.

Mr. Cook joined Apple in 1998, winning a promotion to senior vice president of operations in 2002. In 2004, his responsibilities were expanded to include Apple’s Macintosh division. He was named COO in 2005.

On Friday, Apple shares rose 0.5% to $226.70.

Source: WSJ

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