The Business Week In Review: Tim Cook, Persimmon, and Olympus


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The Independent Online

In profit...

Tim Cook had big shoes to fill, now he needs a wallet to match. It emerged that Steve Jobs's successor at Apple was awarded a compensation package of nearly $400m in 2011, in a deal structured to keep him at the helm for a decade. Cue: uproar and yet more cross words over executive pay.

In truth, Cook received a more reasonable-sounding $1.8m in salary and bonus, which still means he can afford to buy 3,600 iPad 2s if he wants to boost revenue numbers. The rest is in stock options, which will vest in 2016 and 2021.

Mike Farley, Persimmon's chief exec, kicked off the housebuilders' reporting season with bumper figures on Monday. In a statement ahead of the 2011 results announcement next month, Farley said that pre-tax profit will come in towards the top end of analysts' expectations, which range from £130m to £148m.

Also pleasing investors was Cairn Energy boss Simon Thomson, with a £1.60-a-share – £2.3bn – payout after the sale of a stake in the oil and gas producer's Indian unit to Vedanta Resources. a loss

The Olympus saga continues to have more twists and turns than a particularly twisty-turny series of 24. The scandal-hit Japanese camera-maker announced that it is going to sue 19 current and former directors for more than $200m.

These include the former chairman and president, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa who was heavily blamed for losses in a lawyers' report. There are allegations of illegal dividend payments and a campaign to conceal losses after the former chief executive, Brit Michael Woodford, blew the whistle.

As if the banking sector didn't have enough problems Philipp Hildebrand resigned as head of the Swiss National Bank after his wife, Kashya, made a questionable currency deal that tarnished his reputation.

Difficult to decide which high-street chain announced the worst Christmas update last week, but computer games retailer Game had a particularly awful trading statement. Chief exec Ian Shepherd warned debt covenant tests will be breached next month.