T-Mobile's Legere paid $29.2M in 2013, out-earning top AT&T and Verizon execs

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere has been unabashed and aggressive in getting the carrier back to growth, delivering 3.7 million net new subscribers from the second through fourth quarters of 2013. He also was paid to the tune of $29.2 million in 2013, making him the second highest paid wireless executive in 2013 after Sprint (NYSE: S) CEO Dan Hesse.

tmobile john legere

Legere

According to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Legere received a total compensation package in 2013 of $29,245,708. That included a $1.25 million salary, $22.5 million in stock awards and $4.83 million in compensation from T-Mobile's non-equity incentive plan. T-Mobile did not provide comparative compensation for Legere for 2012 since he became T-Mobile CEO in September 2012.

Legere took home more compensation than AT&T (NYSE: T) CEO Randall Stephenson, who made $23.24 million in 2013, up from $22.23 million in 2012. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Communications CEO Lowell McAdam made $15.82 million in 2013, up from $14.05 million in 2012.

Only Hesse, who received a total compensation package of $49 million in 2013, was more richly compensated in terms of wireless industry executives. Hesse had a total compensation package of $11 million in 2012, according to Sprint's proxy filings with the SEC. However, in 2013 Hesse saw substantial increases over 2012 in his stock awards, options awards and compensation from Sprint's non-equity incentive plan.

In explaining Hesse's compensation, Sprint said it "recognized the benefits of leadership continuity in light of the transformative SoftBank" deal, as well as "the ongoing execution of our network modernization plans." As a result, in September 2013, the company signed a new employment contract with Hesse, which provides for an employment term through July 31, 2018, subject to earlier termination as provided in the agreement. The company also noted that in 2013, Hesse was granted a one-time award of 1,733,102 restricted stock units and 1,733,102 stock options.

Legere wasn't the only T-Mobile executive to see a large compensation package in 2013. Tom Keys, COO of T-Mobile's MetroPCS prepaid business, received a total compensation package of $13.20 million in 2013, up from $3.24 million in 2012. A major reason was the $9.8 million in stock awards Keys received in 2013 compared to $955,000 such awards in in 2012. MetroPCS merged with T-Mobile in May 2013.

Similarly, T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter received a total compensation package of $12.83 million in 2013, up from $2.97 million in 2012 when he was the CFO of MetroPCS. Like Keys, the main reason for the big bump for Carter was that in 2013 he received $9.49 million in stock awards, compared to $907,250 in such awards in 2012.

Former MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist was also compensated handsomely after he left the company upon completion of the merger. He received a total compensation package of $12.6 million. T-Mobile noted that part of Linquist's compensation package came from $5.96 million in a "lump-sum severance payment and certain health and dental insurance benefits."

For more:
- see this SEC filing
- see this Bloomberg article

Special Report: The 10 highest paid CEOs in wireless in 2013

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