Apple Executives Take Four Out Of Five Spots In the US High Earners Table

Four out of the five highest-paid senior executives in America last year all belonged to the Apple - although CEO Tim Cook isn't one of them.

The earnings would appear to reflect the challenges of retaining the company's leadership in the wake of Steve Jobs' death.

Apple's regulatory filings describe "meaningful" sums needed to "retain the company’s executive team during the CEO transition".

Tim Cook was paid a fraction of the amount other senior Apple execs were paid

Spots two through five were taken by employees from the tech giant whilst the number one position went to Larry Ellison, founder of data software company Oracle.

Ellison was paid $96.2m (£62.86m) in 2012. Not far behind was Apple's senior vice president of technologies, Bob Mansfield on $85.5m £(55.87m).

Third place went to Apple's leading lawyer, Bruce Sewell, on $69m (£45.09m) presumably as reward for successfully fighting a number of patent cases with rivals Samsung.

Operations chief, Jeffrey Williams, was paid $68.7m (£44.89m). Senior vice president, Peter Oppenheimer, was just behind with $68.6m (£44.83)m.

Tim Cook was paid the (in comparison) tiny sum of $4.2m (£2.74m) although he still probably has quite a lot left over from the $378m (£247.01m) he was paid in 2011.

According to some analysts, Apple's dominant share of the mobile technology market is not the sure thing that it once seemed.

Competition from makers such as Samsung as well as criticism for losing their innovative edge since the death of Steve Jobs has placed the company's leadership under intense pressure.

The company's falling share price - it currently hovers around $425 per share compared to a high above $700 last September - has also been a concern for investors.

But with $127 billion in the bank - in cash - and new iPads and iPhones on the horizon, we wouldn't count Apple out yet either.