Tim Cook’s pay packet shrinks by 99 percent

Times are hard for all of us it seems: even Apple CEO Tim Cook is taking a pay cut – and it’s a biggie.

He’ll be receiving a paltry $4.17 million for his efforts over the last year, an eye-watering 99 percent down on 2011.

Meanwhile, chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer is to get $68.6 million for 2012,  including stock awards of $66.2 million, up from $1.42 million last year.

To be fair, 2011 was a boom year for Cook, in which he became the highest-paid CEO in the US. In all, he pocketed $378 million, boosted by $376.2 million in stock awards to be awarded in two tranches, one in 2016 and the other in 2021.

It was one of the biggest-ever payouts to a company CEO, and the chances are he’s probably still got a bit left over.

This year, Cook is getting $1.36 million in salary – 50 percent up on last year – along with $2.8 million in incentive plan compensation. Nevertheless, Apple describes the pay packet as “significantly below the median annual cash compensation level for CEOs at peer companies.”

It is, though, rather above the $1 per year that Steve Jobs received in his last three years as Apple CEO.

Cook’s had mixed reveiews since taking over the helm at Apple. While he’s overseen the launch of the iPhone 5, the company’s most successful new product ever, he also presided over the disastrous launch of the company’s own Maps application.

Many financial analysts have cut their growth targets for the company over recent weeks, and shares in the company have fallen by 30 percent since hitting a record high in September, with investors concerned that iPhone and iPad sales may not match the company’s projections.