Apple CEO Tim Cook has plenty to smile about as incentive package soars

Money talks, and Apple CEO Tim Cook is being offered a lot of it to stay on at the company.

The 54-year old took over from the late Steve Jobs in 2011 and was offered performance-related stock now worth $500 million (£356 million).

Cook must stay on as Apple's chief executive until 2021 and must maintain Apple's stock levels to the current state or higher to achieve this performance bonus.

Apple regularly offers long-term stock incentives to keep talent at the company, based in Cupertino.

On top of the half-a-billion performance package, Cook received a 43 per cent basic pay rise, going from $1.4 million (£930,000) to $2 million (£1.3 million) in February 2014. Cook's compensation package also doubled in 2014 to $9.2 million (£6.1 million).

But, even with those ridiculously high numbers, Cook was not the highest-paid employee at Apple last year. That honour went to ex-Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who was poached by Apple in 2014 to work as retail executive.

Ahrendts earned $73 million (£48 million) in 2014, split between $37 million (£24 million) in unvested compensation and $33 million (£22 million) in restricted stock.

All other executives received a 14 per cent pay rise due to impressive sales results in 2014, although individual packages were not made public for each executive.

Apple posted quarterly revenue of $42 billion (£27 billion) and $8.5 billion (£5.6 billion) net profit in quarter four of 2014, a 37 per cent increase on 2013 results.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been the major reason for the spike in growth, alongside continued growth in Mac sales.

In 2015, the highly anticipated Apple Watch will take center stage and it will be interesting to see if Apple's flair still wins over millions of customers with the wearable.