Apple Now Boasts Highest Paid Corporate Executives

Apple’s corporate leadership now encompasses some of the nation’s highest paid executives.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that four of the five best paid executives in the United States are presently employed by Apple.

Bob Mansfield, Bruce Sewell, Jeff Williams and Peter Oppenheimer are among the biggest earners, according to the latest industry data available.

“It’s a retention strategy to keep the key executives who were present in the Steve Jobs era,” explains Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research. “They want to be sure the actual talents that they bring to the company are retained, and also from a perception standpoint to retain confidence in the leadership.”

Pay disclosures indicate that Apple’s Mansfield took home $85.5 million, almost entirely in stock, last year.

Mansfield’s base salary was $805,400, – same as Oppenheimer, Sewell and Williams. But their pay jumped after receiving 150,000 in restricted stock units following the death of Steve Jobs in October 2011.

All told, these stock-incentive compensation packages are becoming increasingly more common in technology where top talent retention is a priority and a concern.

“What the board is doing here is saying we’re going to give you millions of dollars worth of reasons to stick with Apple, see us through this transition and to make sure we continue to be successful without Steve Jobs,” Allan McCall, a Stanford University researcher studying executive compensation, tells Bloomberg.