Top CEOs like Apple's Tim Cook should be payed based on their performance--the performance of their company's stock. Recently, Apple has cut Tim Cook's pay, because the company's performance has not matched expectations. This pay cut is completely appropriate as the CEO works to maximize shareholder value--more companies should follow Apple's lead.
The majority of CEO's and Executive Management Team of worldwide companies have part of their salaries, such as bonuses, tied to the performance of the company. When the company is doing well those bonuses are paid accordingly, but in case a company misses its estimates those bonus should be reviewed and adjust to the new reality. Probably this issue has been address on the contract.
Why would Cook try to incentivize himself, when he can only lose money on the deal? Two reasons.
One, he wants to send a message to shareholders that he's a good steward of their capital, in the face of strident complaints from people like activist investor Carl Icahn that Apple's mismanaging its gigantic pile of cash. Making a show of the fact that he personally insisted on losing money when they do could inspire confidence.
Or two: He could be setting an example not for the rest of corporate America, but rather members of his own executive team, who will start to get similar compensation plans in the coming years. Most of them have been around for decades, and Cook could be asking them to up their game.
I have no problem with people, including myself, being paid based on performance. When people know that their salary is dependent on how they do, they are much more likely to work hard and give 100 percent. In today's society, too many workers want something for just showing up instead.