Apple, Tim Cook and the wealth distribution curve

January 24, 2015, 1:22 PM UTC
Image: 9to5Mac

A friend sent me the attached video (below) a few weeks ago. I’d seen it before. Maybe you have too. It’s been viewed 16 million times since it was posted in 2012, and voted up nearly 100,000.

I was reminded of it this week reading through the juicy nuggets reporters were pulling out of Apple’s latest Definitive Proxy Statement. Angela Ahrendts’ $73.4 million. Tim Cook’s $9.22 million.

I could poke fun at the editors at Bloomberg, so impressed by Cook’s comp (“more than double his pay in 2013”). Does no one there remember writing this silly headline?

Apple CEO Cook’s 2011 Comp Worth $378M

But I’m not laughing, and this bit of agitprop — worthy of Apple-compensation-committee-member Al Gore — is one of the reasons:


If you don’t think vast and growing wealth disparities are dangerous, just look around the world.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.