Apple chief Tim Cook takes 99pc pay cut

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Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) chief executive Tim Cook took a 99pc pay cut this year after receiving record compensation in 2011.

The head of the iPhone maker will receive $4.17m (£2.6m) for the past 12 months, Apple said on Thursday, after pocketing $378m last year. That award was inflated after Apple handed Mr Cook stock options that he will be able to cash out at intervals over the next decade.

The steep decline in annual compensation comes as Mr Cook, who took over as chief executive from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011, faces growing pressure from Wall Street to sustain the company's stellar growth rate. Shares in the Californian company have tumbled almost 30pc since reaching a record in September as investors fear the increased competition Apple faces from Amazon, Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT - news) .

Although Mr Cooks' overall annual compensation dropped this year, Apple lifted his salary to $1.36m from the $900,000 he got in 2011. The remainder of his compensation for 2012 is $2.8m that comes from a separate incentive plan. Apple's decision to award Mr Cook $376.2m in stock options last year made him the best-paid American chief executive, according to Equilar, a company that analyses executive compensation.

Mr Cook, who has been at Apple since the late 1990s, was awarded the options despite concerns from investors that the death of Mr Jobs in October last year had deprived Apple of its driving force and creative inspiration. Although Apple reported record profits of $13bn for the first quarter Mr Cook was at the helm, recent weeks have seen a slew of analysts at banks cut their growth targets for the company.

Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, will receive $68.6m in compensation this year after Apple awarded him stock options that are valued at $66.2m.

Shares in Apple closed up 2.1pc at $515.06.