Apple loses long-time board member, discloses big pay packages

January 23, 2015, 12:02 AM UTC

Long-time Apple board member Millard “Mickey” Drexler is stepping down from his position at the tech giant.

Apple said Thursday that Drexler, the CEO of clothing retailer J. Crew, has said he will not seek re-election when his current terms ends at the company’s annual meeting in March.

No replacement to the eight-member board has yet been named. Drexler had served on the board since 1999.

Drexler’s departure will create an opening for the first addition to Apple’s board — which includes Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger and former vice president Al Gore — since Sue Wagner, a founding partner of BlackRock, joined last year after Bill Campbell stepped down after 17 years on the board.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s regulatory filing also showed that Apple new retail head, Angela Ahrendts, was paid roughly $73.4 million in cash and stock last year. That’s compared to CEO Tim Cook, who took home $9.2 million in 2014. The reason for the disparity? Well, Cook’s base salary is actually much higher than Ahrendts’ — $1.8 million for Cook, compared to just over $400,000 for Ahrendts — but the former Burberry CEO received about $70 million worth of Apple stock as part of a compensation package meant to lure her to Apple from Burberry last year. Cook also received more money in the form of non-equity compensation — $6.7 million for Cook versus $1.7 million for Ahrendts.

In the filing, Apple (AAPL) said it took into account Ahrendts’ compensation as head of the U.K. fashion house when determining what to pay her.

“At the time, Ms. Ahrendts was among the highest paid executives in the U.K. and held unvested Burberry equity awards with a value of approximately $37 million,” Apple said. “She also received cash and perquisites from Burberry that exceeded $5 million annually, which was significantly higher than the cash opportunities provided to the Company’s executive officers.”

Apple brought on Ahrendts to take charge of its retail and online sales operations, including selling the new Apple Watch, which is to debut by summer.

It should also be noted that Cook has received huge amounts of compensation in the form of vested Apple stock options in past years, including nearly $70 million in 2013. In 2011, the year he took over for Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO, Cook received more than $370 million worth of Apple stock, much of it in vesting shares, as part of his compensation package.