Jet Jet Options Jet Options (8/13/03)

Heads up, Steve Junkies: it's no substitute for the Expo keynote we were cheated out of last month, but BusinessWeek has posted an excerpt of an interview with everyone's favorite Mercurial Boy. Tune in for the Gospel According to Jobs on subjects as diverse and sundry as why Apple hasn't cut R & D spending, which tech companies "amaze" him, why the iPod is "innovative" without being "new," why Boise's never going to have a booming tech market, and more. Oh, and don't forget the revelation of where he sits along the Hope Curve: "I'm an optimist," says he.

Surprised? You shouldn't be; just because the man has a penchant for black shirts doesn't make him goth. (Now, the clumpy eyeliner and the "Born To Die Weeping And Alone" tattoo on his left forearm-- those make him goth. But we digress.) Besides, we have a hard time believing he could be anything but optimistic given that he's the highest-paid CEO in the country; $219 million a year would put a spring in the step of even the gloomiest Gus in Mopetown. (You think Marilyn Manson's an exception? Au contraire-- once he's behind closed doors he dons a sweater vest, kisses a bunch of puppies, and then rolls around in his money while grinning like Mr. Rogers.)

"But wait," you say, "I thought Steve's annual salary was only one dollar, and he was back at Apple out of the goodness of his heart." Well, technically, yes. But Graef Crystal over at Bloomberg is averaging over three years and including pay elements in addition to base salary, such as that tax-free Gulfstream jet that Apple's board awarded Steve as a thank-you gift in 2000 and his stock options covering 27.5 million shares. (Apparently the fact that those options were eventually traded in for five million free shares after Graef's study period and were worthless during it doesn't signify.) For those "extras," in addition to ranking as the highest-paid CEO in the country, Jobs also wins Graef's coveted "Most-Ludicrous-Pay-Package trophy."

Which all tells us two things: 1) they have trophies for everything these days, and 2) business pundits are never going to stop harping on those options or that freakin' jet. For our money, the bottom line on Jobs's compensation is that there's nary a doubt in our minds that Apple would have folded completely without him, or at least been bought out to build crappy Wintels for Compaq or something-- so as shareholders and as Mac users, we figure he's worth every penny. Still, these days we really wish he'd bought his own aircraft and turned down those worthless-anyway options, because the whole "Jobs Makes Trillions of Dollars Every Minute" thing is getting old.

Note to the board of directors: the next time you want to thank Steve for accomplishing the nigh-impossible, do us a favor-- just buy him a box of Blow Pops and be done with it.

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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 8/13/03 episode:

August 13, 2003: Wouldja believe Steve Jobs is the highest-paid CEO in America? Well, Bloomberg thinks so, anyway. Meanwhile, Apple settles a class action suit with refunds and coupons, and the latest worm to slime the Wintel world once again leaves Macs (mostly) unaffected...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4139: Blink And You'd Miss It (8/13/03)   Crack all the jokes you want about the snail's pace at which the U.S. legal system tends to move, but every once in a while disputes do, in fact, get resolved at what can only be described as "breakneck speed."...

  • 4140: Blaster: The Worm Du Jour (8/13/03)   Being Mac users, we usually aren't affected by viruses, so we tend to be a little slow to realize that a new one has shown up to say howdy. Eventually you learn to read the signs, though; judging by the general sluggishness we're noticing around the 'net and the occasional IT person running pell-mell down the street with his hair on fire, we can only assume that yet another virus-thingy has the Wintel world by the virtual throat...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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