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'Dear Apple gods, please bring me $378million' Paul Sakuma/AP/Press Association Images

Guess how much the new chief of Apple earns?

Tim Cook took over from the late Steve Jobs last year. What do you think is in his pay packet?

TIM COOK HAD big shoes to fill when he took over from Steve Jobs as the boss of Apple – but he’ll be well paid to wear them.

The new chief has been given a $378million pay packet, the equivalent of €295million, making him likely to become the highest-paid CEO in the States.

Most of the money – $376million – is made up of a million restricted stock units handed to Cook by Apple when he took over from an ailing Steve Jobs last August. This isn’t quite string-free – he can’t cash in on the stocks until 2016, and another tranche in 2021, and must remain with the company until then, the Guardian reports.

But the 51-year-old also receives a €900,000 annual salary.

News of the deal has set the media – and Silicon Valley – buzzing as to whether the pay packet is unreasonably large. Wall Street Journal blogger Ronald Barusch points out that the shares have no performance benchmarks before they are claimed – so all Cook has to do is avoid being fired, and he’s in the money.

But Reuters columnist Robert Cyran notes that Apple have a history of generosity to their leaders. In 2000, Steve Jobs was given 20million share options – and a $90million Gulfstream jet to sweeten the deal.

- Additional reporting from AP

More: Apple archive reveals why Steve Jobs chose the name ‘Apple’>

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