Is Steve Jobs Paid Too Much?

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    Posted: 24 July 2001 12:24 PM

    Fortune says that Steve Jobs is paid way too much .  I say their data is way screwed up and that Steve Jobs has earned every penny of the options and Gulfstream Jet that he has gotten from Apple.

    Never mind that the options are worthless right now because of AAPL’s price decline, once they are worth something again, he will be entitled to that and a whole lot more.

    The Mac Observer

    Microsoft’s tyranny lies not in their success, but in the way they achieved and maintain that success.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bryan on 2001-06-18 11:04 ]</font>


    Editor - The Mac Observer

    Favorite (but less relevant than it used to be) Quote: Microsoft’s tyranny lies not in its success, but in the way it achieved and maintains that success.

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 06:59 AM #1

    When in history has any employee of any company been paid “too much” or “too little”? If a employee gets paid too much, they usually get canned. If they get paid too little, then they can quit. Seems to me that the fair and proper compensation for anybody is whatever the compensators and the compensated both agree on…if Apple wants to throw gobs of money at Jobs, and if Jobs is willing to spend it, then why the hell should anyone else care?

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 07:34 AM #2

    I think the author of that Fortune article shot himself in the foot with his last few sentences.  Jobs has only earned one dollar a year since 1997-  thats nearly five years ago.  And just look at what he has done for this company-  and continues to do!  Ehh… the jet might be a little excessive, but I see no reason to go bitchin…  Jobs has done a superb job as CEO of Apple… not too many people can boast of the turnaround that he pulled off

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 07:51 AM #3

    Well this is kind of a yes and no thing. Personally most executives get paid too much when you consider their worth to society. This is not to say that hard work, creativity and innovation should not be rewarded, maybe just not so much reward

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 08:41 AM #4

    SJ is not being paid enough based on yearly salary of one dollar!  Are we talking in terms of salary or total compensation?  Just about all corporate CEOs have stock options and access to luxury items in addition to salary.  Why is this author complaining about SJ and not Bill Gates? 

    In retrospect, who cares whether or not SJ or other coporate CEOs is being paid too much or too little.  That Fortune author should consider whether he or she is being paid too much to too little for the editorial job.  How much is this author being paid to write this unworthy and vindictive editorial piece?  Perhaps, this author should get a huge pay cut or even better, be canned!

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 11:31 AM #5

    It seems that Steve’s salary package is equal to the job he is doing.  Who knows why this Fortune guy is complaining?  He seems to have an anti-rich bias in him maybe.


    Windows sucks.

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 03:25 PM #6

    Well, I look at what Apple paid Gil to come to Apple, further screw things up, waste time, and then what they ended up having to pay him to leave.  That makes me think about the years Sculley spent talking up the Newton just to release it after other companies had beat Apple to the market because he pre-announced the product too soon and didn’t actually know its capabilities.  It doesn’t help that Spindler spend a couple years just trying to sell Apple off but never felt he was getting as much money for the stock as he should [something Sculley started].

    After all that I think s myself, hmm, Jobs founded the company, Jobs once owned the company, Jobs now runs the company and has provided success that longevity not seen since the early 1990s.  Jobs can have whatever the hell he wants, cause as far as I am concerned its still his Apple that we all love so much.

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    Posted: 18 June 2001 03:30 PM #7


    Well said, anonymous poster above me (you guys really should register and hang out more often )! 


    Editor - The Mac Observer

    Favorite (but less relevant than it used to be) Quote: Microsoft’s tyranny lies not in its success, but in the way it achieved and maintains that success.

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 08:28 PM #8

    Why is it nobody ever says Bill Gates makes too much money? Or squeezes corporations and consumers too much? Or forces us to use bad bloated programs and has an idiot complex where he wants to be the only OS in town?

    Seems to me that Steve Jobs earned everything he gets, and even some rather difficult calls (such as the clone and newton shutdowns) as much as I disliked them, wouldn’t rank such moves alongside the licensing schemes that windows has employed. But the manufacturers are at their own mercy, they need to have someone? IBM maybe? put something together and sell intel boxes without MS on them.

    I’d settle for Dr. Dos and GEM,  or Amiga,  or OS/2 or even Corel Linux distribution. Somebody has to get the marketshare away from windows.

    Ooops!  I’m getting away from the salaries question,
    I think Stevie is doing fine, and worth every plug nickel.


  • Posted: 18 June 2001 09:03 PM #9

    I think one of our Anonymous users above had it right: when you consider any corporate CEO’s worth to society, they all get paid WAY beyond what they’re worth to humanity.

    Then again, no one really deserves the kind of obscene wealth available to movie stars, corporate kings, or criminal leaders. But those first two are just doing their job, and while you may believe that our capitalist system rewards them disproportionately, that isn’t the point with Mr. Jobs. All corporate kings reap the same outrageous rewards; the difference between $500M or $1.5 billion is lost in the noise.

    In short: I think it’s unreasonable to criticize anyone for the amount of money they make by doing their job from within the confines of our controlled capitalist marketplace. Mr. Jobs hasn’t hurt anyone by getting paid, and assuming he pays his taxes he hasn’t skimped on his responsibilities to society any more than any other corporate king.


    —Ricky Spero
    Anchor, The Apple Weekly Report
    The Mac Observer

  • Posted: 18 June 2001 09:29 PM #10

    It doesn’t matter what CEOs are worth to humanity; humanity isn’t paying them.  Executive compensation is solely a matter of discretion between the executives and the shareholders to whom they are responsible.  Government and society have nothing to say about it.  Period.  End of story.

  • Posted: 19 June 2001 07:04 AM #11

    On 2001-06-19 00:29, Anonymous wrote:
    It doesn’t matter what CEOs are worth to humanity; humanity isn’t paying them.

    Well, yes, except that humanity is who pays for the company’s products.

    But all this is beside the point. I agree, it’s a supply/demand thing, like everyone else. If the CEO, the company, and the shareholders all condone it (read: accept it), then it’s fair compensation.



    —Ricky Spero
    Anchor, The Apple Weekly Report
    The Mac Observer

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    Posted: 19 June 2001 07:11 AM #12


    Humanity doesn’t pay for the product, customers do.  Those customers are people that have chosen to do business with a company, whereas humanity implies some sort of collective tax.

    It takes a special kind of person to be a successful CEO of a large company, any large company, and those people deserve to be rewarded for being special.  They are the people that make it possible for the engineers, the shipping clerks, and the secretaries to have their jobs.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of rotten CEOs and plenty of CEOs that make the wrong decisions for the wrong reasons.  On the whole, however, most CEOs are an exceptional lot.

    A is A. 

    Also, this is a bit off topic.  I would like to see this return to the concept of Steve Jobs’ compensation.  We can start a philosophy thread in the Small Talk forum if anyone is interested (if so, post it!)


    Editor - The Mac Observer

    Favorite (but less relevant than it used to be) Quote: Microsoft’s tyranny lies not in its success, but in the way it achieved and maintains that success.

  • Posted: 22 June 2001 10:57 AM #13

    Hello good folk

    Now get some perspective. A CEO is simply the person who sets the direction for the company. The Vice presidents then do a lot of work making the stuff work. Then there reports do the rest.

    The dude who single handedly wrote the 040 emulator in PPC Mac ROM’s made maybe, lets see here, yeah thats it, standard salary. He probably had more to do with Apples success than Jobs. Where the hell is his jet. Oh he didn’t risk having to rely on his Golden Parachute if his decisions where wrong. He didn’t have to watch over hightly paid and skilled Vice Presidents who watched over hightly skilled workers who did the real work. Hence he didn’t earn the pay.

    What about Jeff Raskin who’s idea the Mac was. He named it and Steve named his project Lisa. He was forced out by Jobs, after Jobs brillian idea failed miserably.

    Oh, but jobs had the idea for an NC, hey wasn’t that Ellison. Oh he thought blue, oh wasn’t that the design team. Oh he thought think different, no that was marketing. Oh he came up with . . .  fire all of the Apple Vice Presidents and bring in the Next team. Yeah he saved Apple by trashing the company and Making Next the new Mac. yeah that’s the ticket. That’s why he deserves millions. Yeah that was wonderful.

  • Posted: 06 July 2001 10:48 PM #14

    The poster above me is correct to say that most, if not all of the ideas that have moved Apple forward were not Jobs’s. I would like to point out that that is not the job of any CEO. Instead it is to organize the people and material that is necessary to make a business work. Some CEO’s do add their own ideas to the mix but that is merely icing on the cake.

    Jobs does what he loves and is good at. Delivering. From what I have gathered and feel I can assume, Jobs works for $1.00 a year because he is tired of living in a Windows world of all talk and politics and no delivery. Further, he doesn’t just like to deliver products, he wants to be the person actually delivering the product. That is why he keynotes Macworlds and other tech events. And where that is concerned he has a luxury jet to aid him in company related activities. Whether or not he uses it off the clock is his privilage. So no, I don’t think he is paid too much. Further, it seems to me that this report probably was digging at the bottom of the barrel. When in doubt or out of ideas, just show what capitolist pigs we all are. It’s a shurefire bet to sell something.

  • Posted: 09 July 2001 02:10 PM #15

    Remember, Steve only takes the $1 salary for the health benefits and the ability to participate in the company’s ESOP.  You can’t own any performance compensation stock unless you’re an employee.  Steve is doing this for more than the money.  He’s already a billionaire.  This is his legacy.  Making a difference in this world is what he’s after.  Also, the 10 million stock options are priced at $85/share.  He will have to get Apple’s market cap to over $20 billion before he starts to make money.  Right now, it’s worthless.