Tim Cook took a huge paycut in 2016 because Apple lost its mojo

tim cook, apple, watch

Every year, Apple CEO Tim Cook gets a cash bonus, the size of which depends entirely on how well the company performed.

In 2014, he got a cool $6.7 million. Not bad. After a bumper 2015, this soared to $8 million. But sadly, 2016 hasn’t been as strong, and this performance bonus has been slashed to ‘just’ $5.3 million.

Apple aimed to beat its $223.6 billion earnings from 2015, but it fell short, pulling in just $215.6 billion, with a $60 billion operating income.

All said, Apple’s executives have received only 89.5 percent of their annual cash incentives, thanks to the company failing to meet its annual sales targets.

Thankfully, Cook has his base salary to fall back on, which soared in 2016 from $2 million to $3 million. According to CNET, in total, Cook earned $8.74 million in 2016. I’m not sure where the other $0.44 million came from, though.

You don’t have to look too hard to see why 2016 has been so rough for Apple.

The ‘highpoint’ of the year was the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – both phones were merely incremental upgrades on the previous model, albeit sans headphone jack.

Public reception to the iPhone 7 has been pretty muted, and seven days ago it was reported that Apple intends to slash production by ten percent within the first quarter of 2017.

Then there’s the computer side of the business, which Apple has criminally neglected. In 2016, Apple eventually got around to releasing an upgrade to the MacBook Pro – but it was too weird and too expensive.

It also killed off the affordable MacBook Air 11-inch, and looks set to do the same to the 13-inch version in 2017.

Meanwhile, there rest of Apple’s computer stable – the Mac Mini, the iMac, and especially the Mac Pro – has gone literally years without an update.

If anything, 2016 has been a demonstration of how quickly a company can lose its way, especially when there’s a lack of visionary leadership, and a failure to understand who its customers actually are.

And it couldn’t come at a worse time. Under Satya Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft is emboldened and rejuvenated. It’s launching products that genuinely excite. And with the growing success of its premium computing platforms – namely the Surface Book, Surface Studio, and Surface Pro 4 – Microsoft looks set to eat Apple’s launch.

Apple has lost its mojo, and this has manifested itself in a number of ways – in its product line up, in its financial performance… and now, in Tim Cook’s paycheck.

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