Apple CEO Tim Cook Cashes In On A Cool $36 Million In AAPL Shares

Ah, to be the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, wouldn't that be the life? Oh sure, there are daily stressors that come with the territory, but so does a lopsided compensation package. Apple CEO Tim Cook knows this better than most. As part of a predetermined plan, Cook last week sold a chunk of Apple shares worth $36 million. Sure beats working overtime for a few extra bucks, doesn't it?

Normally when a high ranking official cashes in on company shares worth tens of millions of dollars, questions are raised about the health of the firm. That's especially true when it's the top dog shedding company stock. In this case, the timing of Cook's sell-off came just weeks after Apple reported positive quarterly results. Share of Apple have risen 11 percent since the announcement on July 26, hitting a high of nearly $108 per share on Friday. Prior to its upbeat quarter, Apple shares had been trending below $100 for several months, hitting a low around $90 in mid-May.

Apple Tim Cook

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) isn't likely to bat an eye over the sale because this was a predetermined sale as part of what's called rule 10b5-1.

"Rule 10b5-1 is established by the SEC to allow insiders of publicly traded corporations to set up a trading plan for selling stocks they own. Rule 10b5-1 allows major holders to sell a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time. Many corporate executives use 10b5-1 plans to avoid accusations of insider trading," Investopedia explains.

Had the share price of Apple dropped for any reason, Cook still would have sold 334,000 shares last week, he just would have made less. Fortunately for Cook, Apple shares have been on an upswing in recent weeks, and he benefited from it.

Cook's been at the helm of Apple for five years now. His fifth anniversary as CEO allowed him to convert 1.26 million restricted stock units he'd been previously awarded to common shares worth in the neighborhood of $135 million. While some may question whether or not Cook is deserving of such a lucrative payday, his performance since taking over the leadership role from Steve Jobs has been pretty good. Revenue is almost twice as high as it was five years, and he's more than doubled Apple's profit.