Apple disclosed the bonus Friday in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cook has been awarded $5 million in cash and 75,000 shares of restricted stock.
Half of the shares are set to vest on March 10, 2011, and the remaining on March 10, 2012. Based on Friday's closing price, the shares were worth slightly more than $17 million.
The Apple board approved the bonus on the recommendation of Jobs in recognition of Cook's "outstanding performance in assuming the day-to-day operations of the company for the period in fiscal 2009 during which Mr. Jobs was on medical leave of absence," the filing said.
Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, took a medical leave in the first half of 2009. During that time, he underwent a liver transplant.
The bonus was awarded as Apple prepares to release arguably its most important product since the iPhone. The iPad, a tablet computer that can be used as an electronic reader as well as an entertainment device for playing video and music, is set for release April 3. Apple started taking pre-orders for the device on Friday.
Cook's performance as acting CEO is expected to make him the successor to Jobs. Cook joined Apple in 1998 and was promoted to senior VP of operations in 2002. He served as acting CEO for two months in 2004 while Jobs was recovering from pancreatic cancer surgery. Cook was promoted to COO in January 2007.
Apple plans to start shipping iPads next month, starting with the April 3rd debut of the Wi-Fi only models. The device is now available for pre-order through the Apple Online Store.