Four of the five highest-paid employees at Standard & Poor’s 500 companies aren’t chief executive officers. They’re Apple Inc. (AAPL) senior lieutenants receiving compensation packages designed to keep management intact in an increasingly competitive industry.
This is Apple trying to provide some stability in the wake of Steve Jobs’ death. They moved swiftly to stop Bob Mansfield from retiring last year and are clearly acting to prevent their other senior leaders from leaving the company.
They’ve also linked much of this compensation to performance. Base salaries are a somewhat modest $800k with the rest of their compensation, in these cases tens of millions of dollars, is in stock.
Of course the other way to look at this is that Apple doesn’t have workable succession plans in place for many of these key executives. The story doing the rounds when Bob Mansfield announced his retirement was that his replacement, Dan Riccio, simply wasn’t up to the task. We’ve also seen Apple struggle with the appointment of a Retail head after the disastrous appointment of John Browett.