Finding billionaires in Silicon Valley isn’t hard. Dropbox Inc.’s Arash Ferdowsi and Veeva Systems Inc.’s Peter Gassner have both crossed the threshold this year, and tech fortunes make up a fifth — or about $1 trillion — of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
But tracking down members of the three-comma club at Apple Inc. is a less fruitful endeavor, even though the iPhone-maker is the world’s most valuable company, with a market capitalization of $879 billion.
Chairman Art Levinson is the only insider to make the cut, and Apple stock accounts for just 20 percent of his $1 billion fortune, according to regulatory filings. The rest comes from his long tenure at Genentech Inc., where he was chairman and chief executive officer, and an early stake in Google Inc.
No other Apple insider comes close. CEO Tim Cook has a $600 million fortune, which reflects a pay program that’s restrained relative to the company’s size and performance.
According to the Bloomberg Pay Index, which ranks the best-paid senior managers at public U.S. companies, Apple’s leaders are downright bargains. The cost of executive compensation as a fraction of economic profit — defined as after-tax operating profit minus capital costs — was the lowest among the companies whose bosses were the country’s 200 best-paid in the most recent fiscal year.
That’s led to relatively small insider holdings, underscoring how few known billionaires the Cupertino, California-based company has spawned.
That sets it apart from other tech mega-caps, whose founders and occasional employees increasingly dominate the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which tracks the wealth of the world’s 500 richest people.
They include Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet Inc.’s Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Microsoft Corp.’s Bill Gates and Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg and Jan Koum. Fortunes associated with these companies account for about 10 percent of the index.