How much do Apple employees earn?
Adam Lashinsky, in an excerpt from his new book, says that Appleemployees aren’t paid particularly well:

If they don’tjoin for a good time, they also don’t join Apple for the money.Sure, Apple has spawned its share of stock-options millionaires —particularly those who had the good timing to join in the first fiveor so years after Jobs returned. “You can get paid a lot of moneyat most places here in the Valley,” said Frederick Van Johnson, aformer Apple marketing employee. “Money is not the metric.”

Byreputation, Apple pays salaries that are competitive with themarketplace — but no better. A senior director might make an annualsalary of $200,000, with bonuses in good years amounting to 50% ofthe base. Talking about money is frowned upon at Apple. “I thinkworking at a company like that, and actually being passionate aboutmaking cool things, is cool,” said Johnson, summarizing the ethos.“Sitting in a bar and seeing that 90% of the people there are usingdevices that your company made — there is something cool aboutthat, and you can’t put a dollar value on it.”

This isinteresting — but I think it understates the importance of stockoptions and restricted stock units. Apple is that rarest of beasts, afast-growing company with a low stock price. And you don’t needmany RSUs at $430 a pop before you’re talking real money. A joboffer from Apple is certainly a treasured thing and most peoplearen’t going to turn it down just because the salary isn’t northof $300,000. But money’s still important and Apple employees haveactually been much better paid than Lashinsky implies.

We cando some very basic back-of-the-envelope math here. When Apple wentpublic in 1980, it had 61 million shares outstanding. It has sincesplit three times, so those original 61 million shares have nowbecome 490 million shares. Today, however, Apple, has 929 millionshares outstanding. Which means that over the years, Apple has issued439 million shares.

Where did those shares go? There haven’tbeen any secondary offerings, so none of them went to investors. AndApple is not particularly acquisitive, so few of them went to buycompanies, either. Apple does buy some companies with stock, butthose deals are rare and don’t account for all that many shares:even the NeXT acquisition, which brought Steve Jobs back to the fold,was paid for with $429 million in cash and only 1.5 million shares ofstock.

So it’s fair to assume that the lion’s share of thenewly-issued shares — let’s say 400 million, to keep numbersround — have gone to employees. And 400 million shares, at $430each, is $172 billion.

To put that in perspective, Apple nowhas 60,400 employees. 36,000 of those work in the retail segment; wecan assume they don’t get options or RSUs. So excluding retail,Apple has about 24,400 employees. Let’s double that number, toinclude all the employees who have left over the years — call it50,000 in all. $172 billion divided by 50,000 employees is $3.4million per employee.

Now I’m not saying that the averageApple employee has made $3.4 million in stock options and RSUs. Mostof those options and RSUs will have been exercised, at prices wellbelow $430 per share. (On the other hand, most current employees haveoptions and RSUs which haven’t yet vested and therefore aren’tincluded in the 929 million number of total outstanding shares.) Butthe fact is that Apple has been generous in terms of handing outequity to its employees, and there’s no reason to believe it won’tbe just as generous going forwards. And the most recent datapoint wehave — the 1 million RSUs given to Tim Cook when he became CEO “asa promotion and retention award” — certainly doesn’t make itseem as though Apple is stingy with its equity-based pay.

I’msure that Apple doesn’t pay more than it needs to and I’m alsosure that demand for Apple jobs significantly exceeds the supply ofthose jobs. But if you properly account for options and RSUs, Isuspect that Apple turns out to be a pretty generous employer —more so, in any case, than Lashinsky implies.

(Writing byFelix Salmon) - Source
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