Apple Puts New CEO Tim Cook’s Tenure on Timetable

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How long will Apple’s Tim Cook sit on Apple’s CEO throne? Probably through the midpoint of 2021, according to the board of directors, who made the move last Friday to lock Cook in with one million shares of restricted company stock. Half of those shares are scheduled to vest between August 24, 2016 and August 24, 2021—so long as Cook continues to be employed by the Cupertino-based company.

“In connection with Mr. Cook’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer, the Board awarded Mr. Cook 1,000,000 restricted stock units,” wrote Apple in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. One million Apple shares is a monster pile of cash even today: Apple’s closing stock price Friday was 383.58, so we’re talking a 2011 pot of nearly $384 million. Assuming Apple continues its meteoric ascent—and no one’s come up with a good argument suggesting it won’t—Cook stands to hit 2021 a vastly wealthier individual than he already is.

(MORE: The Beginning of the Post–Steve Jobs Era)

How’s that compare to his former boss’s stake? Jobs has been taking an annual salary of $1, and currently holds 5.5 million Apple shares, which means he’s worth slightly more than $2.1 billion (plus, you know, a couple bucks).

Jobs resigned as Apple CEO unexpectedly last week after a 15 year stint during which he oversaw the transformation of the company. The resignation wasn’t unexpected, given presumed health complications stemming from a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer and its aftermath, but the timing was. Many thought Jobs would continue in his role as Apple’s CEO for years to come. Instead, he’s stepped down to become Chairman of the Board, blessing protégé Tim Cook’s ascent from Chief Operating Officer (held since January 2007) to the CEO mantle.

“Mr. Cook brings to the Board extensive executive leadership experience in the technology industry, including the management of worldwide operations, sales, service and support,” wrote Apple in the SEC filing.

Cook’s been with Apple nearly as long as Jobs (Jobs’ second time around, that is). Cook started with the company in 1998, after working for IBM for 12 years and a brief stint as a Compaq vice president. Prior to accepting the role as Apple CEO last week, he’d walked in Jobs’ shoes officially twice (in 2004 and 2009, during Jobs’ medical leaves) and unofficially from January 2011 forward, after Jobs took a third indefinite medical leave of absence.

PHOTOS: The Long, Extraordinary Career of Steve Jobs

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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