Sunday, May 27, 2012

Think different

This, for me, is astounding.

Tim Cook decided to forgo the quarterly dividends accrued on the 1.125 million shares that are due to him in 2016 and 2021. True, this would have been over a period of 36 quarters, but this is still a huge amount of money. More than what most of us will make over a lifetime. And the major point being, no one asked him to! 

There was no pressure from shareholders, the company is doing insanely well and I doubt this was even in anyone's mind. As far as I can see, Tim Cook is basically doing this so that no one can (someday in the future) turn around and say that he instituted the dividend program to enrich himself.

There might have been other CEOs who've taken paycuts but those are generally in companies in some form of crisis or the other, like the $1 salary of various Wall-Street CEOs. But this form of simply walking away from a huge pile of cash is something that I haven't yet seen in my admittedly fledgling working life.

Contrast this with these notes from Dell: Michael Dell is making hay while his company drowns around him.

(As an aside, I'm sure Dell regrets the day he ever made that quote about shutting down Apple and returning money to the shareholders. One slip, and unfortunately that's how most people remember him for now.)

Will we hear someone from India doing the same? Forgo money that is legally and with utter validity due to him? Have we ever had something like this, ever?

Look forward to your thoughts!