Tim Cook to be Apple CEO until 2021

This is for all of you who thought Tim Cook might only be an interim replacement for Steve Jobs.

Apple’s board of directors met on Friday to discuss the company’s future without the legendary Steve Jobs. They ended the meeting by confirming Tim Cook, previously the company’s COO, as the new head of the company until at least the middle of 2021.

The timeline was set in place in the form of a stock deal that will require Cook to stay at the helm for the next 10 years.

“In connection with Mr. Cook’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer, the Board awarded Mr. Cook 1,000,000 restricted stock units,” Apple wrote in an official filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, he’ll only receive those million shares if he continues to work for Apple until 2021. It’s a retention tool, as if anyone needed to have incentive to remain the CEO of such an enormous company.

500,000 of the shares will be awarded to him in August of 2015 so he can start counting his money at the beginning of his fifth year as CEO. Apple’s stock price is currently sitting at around $380, so it’s pretty easy to figure Cook will soon be one wealthy man.

But Cook was already doing pretty well for himself. Even though, on paper, his COO salary for 2010 was $800,000, he actually ended up receiving about $59 million. That includes bonuses for filling in for Steve Jobs during his medical leave, as well as his existing stock awards.

Cook has been with Apple since 1998.