Top 5 Myths About Steve Jobs


The Apple Corporation Paid Jobs Only $1 for Running the Company

Was Jobs' salary at Apple just $1?
Was Jobs' salary at Apple just $1?

From 1997 until he stepped down as CEO of Apple in 2011, Jobs made a yearly salary of only $1 [source: Rogers]. In fact, during several of those years, Jobs' entire compensation was $1. As one quick-witted CNET reader pointed out in response to Ina Fried's article, "Apple Again Pays Jobs $1 Salary," his earnings couldn't buy him a song plus tax on iTunes [source: Fried]. So right now, you're wondering, "So why's this on the myth list?" Well, it's only part of the story.

Instead of high salaries, Apple prefers to pay executives in performance awards and slow-vesting stock. This policy encourage executives to stay long-term. Other companies have similar practices. John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market and Eric Schmidt, now former CEO of Google, both made base salaries of $1 in 2008 [sources: NYT: Mackey, NYT: Schmidt]. Obviously, Jobs made a lot more than $1 each year. For selling a record number of computers in 2000, Apple thanked Jobs with an $88 million private jet [sources: Fisher, Elkind]. As of April 2011, he owned more than 5.6 million shares of Apple stock [source: Reuters]. By Forbes's 2010 list, Jobs was the 136st richest person in the world, worth $5.5 billion [source: Forbes].