Sprint Nextel awarded $19m package

The Financial Times reports that Dan Hesse, chief executive of Sprint Nextel, collected a $2.6m bonus last year as part of a 2008 compensation package valued at $19.2 millio, even though the third-largest US mobile network operator continued to lose subscribers and report net losses.

Sprint's reported $2.8 billion net losses last year partly reflected the loss of 4.6 millio subscribers and tough competition from Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the US market leaders, the paper said.

The bonus payout, about $600,000 more than the "targeted" bonus Hesse was due to be paid under the company's short-term incentive compensation plan, was disclosed in a company filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.

Sprint said the higher bonus was justified "because we met or exceeded key operational goals".