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The 10 highest paid executives in wireless in 2012

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During the past several weeks, publicly traded companies in the wireless industry revealed how much they pay their CEOs.

These numbers, from 2012, include several changes from last year's list. For example, in 2012 operators dominate the list, not vendors. AT&T (NYSE:T) CEO Randall Stephenson is the highest-paid executive. Stephenson's 2012 compensation rose slightly from 2011. However, his 2011 compensation was down significantly from what he made in 2010. The reduction in Stephenson's pay in 2011 from 2010 was due to AT&T's failure to close its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, who was the highest-paid executive in 2012, fell to No. 10 on this year's list. In 2011, most of Cook's compensation was in the form of restricted stock units intended to keep Cook at Apple for the long haul.

The following list carries several caveats. First, not all companies have reported their compensation figures. Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) and U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) have not yet disclosed how much their respective CEOs make. Further, the information that is listed for Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse was provided by Sprint, since Sprint has not filed its forms either, pending the closure of Softbank's plan to acquire 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion.

Interestingly, the compensation provided to those in the wireless industry largely dovetails with the overall market. According to a recent report in USA Today, the nation's top CEOs enjoyed an 8 percent pay increase in 2012, bringing the median to $9.7 million--the biggest increase in two years. Of the 172 executive pay packages examined by USA Today, 16 were in the range of $20 million or more, and an additional 63 surpassed $10 million.

The below lists the highest-paid CEOs in wireless for 2012. The data comes from filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson
Total compensation (2012): $22,234,703    
Total compensation (2011): $22,018,334  
Salary: $1,550,000    
Bonus: $0
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $20.684,703
Duration with the company: Since 1982 

randall stephenson AT&T

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs
Total compensation (2012): $20,730,873    
Total compensation (2011): $21,722,333
Salary: $1,189,246    
Bonus: $2,775
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $19,538,852
Duration with the company: Since 1990

qualcomm paul jacobs

Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam
Total compensation (2012):  $14,049,100* 
Total compensation (2011): $23,120,499
Salary: $1,400,000
Bonus: $0
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $12,649,100 (*In 2011, McAdam received $18,750,099 in stock awards, and only $8,750,055 in that category in 2012.)
Duration with the company: Since 2000 (inception of Verizon Wireless)       

verizon lowell mcadam

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega
Total compensation (2012): $11,926,329    
Total compensation (2011): $9,898,542
Salary: $872,500       
Bonus: $0
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $11,053,829
Duration with the company: Since 2004 (as Cingular)    

AT&T Ralph de la vega

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse
Total compensation (2012): $10,435,741
Total compensation (2011): $11,882,651  
Salary: $853,777
Bonus: $2,054,688
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $7,527,276
Duration with the company: Since December 2007

sprint dan hesse

Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown
Total compensation (2012): $10,325,173** 
Total compensation (2011): $ 29,329,052
Salary: $1,200,000                
Bonus: $0
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $9,125,1773 (**In 2011, Brown received $23,769,920 in stock and stock option awards, and only $3,931,709 in those categories in 2012.)
Duration with the company: Since 2003  

motorola greg brown

MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist
Total compensation (2012): $7,011,752
Total compensation (2011): $8,939,174
Salary: $946,346                                  
Bonus: $1,488,100       
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $4,577,306
Duration with the company: Since 1994 (inception of MetroPCS)

MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist

Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead
Total compensation (2012): $6,399,606      
Total compensation (2011): $5,660,641
Salary: $794,231                   
Bonus: $0
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $5,605,375
Duration with the company: Since 2000 (inception of Verizon Wireless)

Verizon Dan Mead

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop 
Total compensation (2012): $5,550,005
Total compensation (2011): $10,172,928
Salary: $1,382,244
Bonus: $0
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $4,167,761
Duration with the company: Since September 2010

Nokia Stephen Elop

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Total compensation (2012): $4,174,992***
Total compensation (2011): $377,996,537
Salary:  $1,357,718 
Bonus: $0
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $2,817,274 (***In 2011, as Fortune explained, the majority of Cook's listed compensation was in restricted stock units intended to keep Cook at Apple.)
Duration with the company: Since 1998

tim cook

Correction, April 4, 2013: This article incorrectly referred to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's pay in 2011. It fell in 2011 in relation to his pay in 2010.