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The world's best-paid man? Tim Cook of Apple collars $378 million in 2011

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 10, 2012 | 3 min read

The accolade of America's highest paid company chief in 2011 has gone to Tim Cook of Apple. He could even be the wold's top earner.

Time Cook: The $378 million man

The San Jose Mercury News, quoting an Associated Press review of a securities filing, reported that Cook's pay package was valued at $378 million - around £250 million. Britain's top paid man last year brought in £18 million.

Cook, 51. who took over at Apple last August shortly before Steve Jobs died, was granted a million restricted stock units at the time.

These units, worth $376 million then, accounted for the vast bulk of his pay. Half of the stock units will vest in August 2016, the other half in August 2021, said the report.

In addition Cook's salary and performance bonus, amounted to $900,000 each.

In contrast, Steve Jobs took a $1 annual salary for years and owned about 5.5 million shares, now worth about $2.3 billion

Cook's pay packet dwarfs that of Philippe Dauman, of Viacom , the top paid US CEO of 2010 with an $84.5 million package.

Cook's package was also valued at more than all of the next nine highest paid CEOs of 2010 combined, or about $356 million.

Apple said its compensation goal is to encourage long-term results above short-term risk-taking.

The filing was released the same day Apple shares reached a new high, hitting $427.75 at one point.

Aaron Boyd, of executive compensation data firm Equilar, told the BBC Cook's stock award was the largest single award given by a company for a decade.

The top five earners in Britain are, according to Incomes Data Services:

1 - Mick Davis who heads mining giant Xstrata at £18,426,105.

2 - Bart Becht, now retired, as chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, had a total pay of £17,879,000,;

3 - Michael Spencer, CEO of ICAP, brought in £13,419,619 according to IDS.

4 - Sir Terry Leahy, also now retired was paid £12,038,303 as Tesco CEO;

5 - Tom Albanese ,chief executive of miner Rio Tinto, was according to IDS, paid £11,623,162

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