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Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft: The tech giants Pays A Lot


With a market capitalization of almost three trillion US dollars, Apple is not only the most valuable corporation on the stock exchange, its managing director Tim Cook also benefited from the tech giant’s soaring in 2021. According to the annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cook was paid nearly $98.7 million in salaries last year. As the graphic shows, he is currently not only the highest-earning “GAFAM” managing director (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft), but Apple is also the company with the worst ratio of managing director to employee salary.

The above-mentioned report, which every listed company has to submit to the authorities, lists not only the salaries of the executive floor but also the average salary of the respective companies. At Apple this is around 68,000 US dollars, so Cook earned almost 1,500 times as much in the second year of the pandemic.

This discrepancy can be explained in part by a special bonus in the form of stock awards that amounted to approximately $82 million. If you ignore this bonus, Apple slips from first to second place with a ratio of 240: 1 – a clear difference to Alphabet with its ratio of 27: 1. However, the actual earnings of the big tech management team, which are usually significantly higher, are not shown in the corresponding reports. Despite his stable and comparatively low salary of 1.7 million US dollars over the years, Amazon managing director Jeff Bezos increased his fortune by five billion US dollars last year, for example.

Although clear wage differences between regular employees and the executive floor are normal in most companies, the question of the proportionality of work and actual wages arises, especially with companies such as Apple, Microsoft or Meta. According to analyzes by the Economic Policy Institute, managing directors: internal salaries of corporations on the S&P 500 index rose from 1978 to 2020, adjusted for inflation, by 1,337 percent, while the salaries of employees without managerial responsibility rose by just 18 percent in the same period.