Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has given Tim Cook 1 million shares of restricted stock as he takes over as reins of the company from Steve Jobs.

At current prices, the stock package is worth more than $383 million.

Cook assumed CEO duties this week when Jobs stepped aside after 14 years, saying he was no longer able to do the job.

Cook has connections to the Research Triangle area. He earned his MBA at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He also at one time worked for IBM.

Cook won’t immediately have access to the stock. Half of the award vests over five years, and the other half five years after that. So the full value won’t be known for years.

But it has the potential to be even more rewarding if certain expectations of Apple Inc. come true.

Some analysts forecast Apple’s stock, which closed Friday at $383.58, could hit $500 or more per share within the next year.

Cook, 50, has been Apple’s chief operating officer and is a former IBM executive.

Cook had been acting CEO since January. For years, he has been running Apple’s day-to-day operations, and has long been seen as the natural successor. He also served as Apple’s leader for two months in 2004 while Jobs battled cancer, and again for five-and-a-half months in 2009 when Jobs received a liver transplant.

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” said Apple Chairman Art Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

Apple said Jobs “strongly recommended” that the board “implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.”

“As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple,” Jobs said in his resignation.

Cook graduated from Auburn with a degree in engineering.

A director at Nike, Cook joined Apple as senior vice president for worldwide operations. He also took over for Jobs in 2004 and 2009. He worked at IBM for 12 years.

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