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ISS has said shareholders should vote against Apple chief executive Tim Cook’s latest remuneration package © Apple/Reuters

Putting a value on the roles played by top tech executives can be difficult.

ISS, a top shareholder advisory group, has recommended that Apple investors vote against Tim Cook’s $99mn pay and bonuses package for 2021. It includes his first stock award since 2011 — worth $82mn. ISS says there “is a significant concern” with the stock award, while costs of $630,630 for personal security and $712,488 for personal use of a private jet “significantly exceeded” comparable companies.

Tim Bradshaw and Patrick Temple-West report that Cook’s steady leadership has been widely hailed as he guided Apple to become the first company to hit a $3tn market capitalisation in early January, quelling early doubts as to whether the company could flourish after the death of co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011.

Lex says Cook has demonstrated his worth, presiding over a transformation few thought possible. It points out the pay package is not a record in tech. Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai received $277mn in stock awards in 2019. Elon Musk’s moonshot 2018 pay package, which is linked to a series of milestones, means he could earn over $55bn.

Over at Facebook parent Meta, Mark Zuckerberg has placed a bigger value on the role of handling Facebook’s tarnished public image and defending the social media company against politicians and regulators. Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, has been promoted to president of global affairs and is now part of a triumvirate, with CEO Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Clegg joined Facebook in 2018 as its head of policy and communications. “We need a senior leader at the level of myself (for our products) and Sheryl (for our business) who can lead and represent us for all of our policy issues globally,” wrote Zuckerberg about the expanded role. It will include interacting with governments drawing up new regulations and making “the case publicly” for the company’s products. That will be a big job, but of all Zuckerberg’s new “Metamates”, Clegg has the best political acumen to handle it.

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