First there was the iPod, then the iPhone, followed by launch of the latest gizmo this month, the iPad. Each of these has contributed to bumper iPay for Steve Jobs, the charismatic boss of Apple. Yesterday, the company reported a 90 per cent jump in profit that easily surpassed Wall Street's already sky-high expectations. Mr Jobs takes home an annual salary of just US$1 (Dh3.67), but he has an equity stake of 5.64 million shares in the company.
Shares of the California-based tech giant jumped by more than 8 per cent to $265 a share in after-hours trading on the NASDAQ on Tuesday, boosting Mr Jobs's net worth by $123 million in a few hours. The stock price has doubled in the past year, buoyed by investor optimism for the iPad and Apple's other products. With that sort of return for its shareholders, you might think that Apple would pay Mr Jobs properly.
The revival of Apple contrasts sharply with the fortunes of Goldman Sachs. While it announced profit of $3.46 billion on Tuesday for the first quarter of the year, the investment bank has been widely pilloried for its business practices, is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK Financial Services Authority, and has been described by the British prime minister as "morally bankrupt".
In contrast, Apple's cult following is willing to put up with iPhones that freeze and iPods that show an unhappy face with crosses for eyes when they break down. Mr Jobs also holds an estimated $4.4bn of Walt Disney stock, which he received when he sold Pixar Animation Studios to Disney in 2006. Disney pays investors an annual dividend of 35 cents a share. For Mr Jobs, who has about 138 million shares, that brings in an additional $48m a year.
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