The 10 highest-paid executives in wireless in 2015

Once again, FierceWireless has sifted through piles of financial data to give you a list that ranks the top 10 highest-paid executives in the wireless industry.

And this year, a few executives from the U.S.’s top carriers managed to sneak back onto the list after being shut out last year.

To be clear, executives from Google and Apple still dominated the list of highest-paid executives in the wireless industry, according to new data from public Securities and Exchange Commission filings. But big earners that topped the list last year saw their total compensation drop dramatically since 2014.

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, after taking home a whopping $84.3 million in 2014, earned a significantly less $18.3 million in 2015. Likewise, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf saw his total compensation for 2015 shrink to $10.4 million after earning $60.7 million in 2014.

With Nadella and Mollenkopf making room on the list, both AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure were able to climb into the top 10 rankings.

While Claure and Stephenson made the list, McAdam’s $18.3 million in total compensation for 2015 wasn’t enough to put him in the top 10. And Legere’s $24.4 million made in 2015 placed him just outside of the top 10.

But this year, as was the case with last year’s list, it was stock awards that propelled executives to the top of the list -- and no one hauled in as much as freshly appointed Google CEO Sundar Pichai. In 2015, Pichai’s total compensation reached $100.6 million, driven overwhelmingly by $99.8 million in unrestricted stock awards that will vest fully in 2017. It should be noted though that not all of the stock awards and other compensation listed for 2015 will vest right away or are guaranteed to vest fully. For example, Claure's total compensation for 2015 is based on a Turnaround Incentive Award that will only be earned if Sprint's stock achieves a volume-weighted average price of $8.

Google execs actually claimed the top three spots on the list, as former CFO and current advisor to the company Patrick Pichette made $56.6 million and current CFO Ruth Porat made more than $31 million.

Meanwhile, five members of Apple’s executive team made the list this year. Notably absent again though is Apple CEO Tim Cook, who made about $10.3 million in total compensation in 2015. It’s worth noting that, while Cook’s $2 million salary is augmented nicely by his non-equity incentive plan and other compensation, he hasn’t in the past three years claimed any of the lucrative stock awards that have inflated the salaries of his fellow Apple executives.

P.S. Be sure to check out similar executive compensation lists in the cable/pay-TV industry from FierceCable and in the wireline telecom industry from FierceTelecom coming soon.

10. Apple SVP Dan Riccio

Dan Riccio

Total compensation (2015): $25,017,626
Total compensation (2014): $24,403,235
Salary: $1,000,000
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $24,017,626
Duration with the company: Since 1998

9. Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell

Bruce Sewell

Total compensation (2015): $25,017,626
Total compensation (2014):
Salary: $1,000,000
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $24,017,626
Duration with the company: Since 2009

8. Apple SVP Eddy Cue

Eddy Cue

Total compensation (2015): $25,052,241 million
Total compensation (2014): $24,445,739 million  
Salary: $1,000,000  
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $24,052,241 million
Duration with the company: Since 1989

7. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Randall Stephenson

Total compensation (2015): $25,145,914
Total compensation (2014): $23,984,315
Salary: $1,741,667
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $23,404,247
Duration with company: Since 1982

6. Apple CFO Luca Maestri

Luca Maestri

Total compensation (2015): $25,337,977
Total compensation (2014): $14,002,801
Salary: $1,000,000
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $24,337,977
Duration with company: Since 2013

5. Apple SVP Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

Total compensation (2015): $25,779,229 million
Total compensation (2014): $73,351,124 million
Salary: $1,000,000
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $24,779,229 million
Duration with the company: Since 2014

4. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure

Marcelo Claure

Total compensation (2015): $26,965,004 million
Total compensation (2014): $21,798,463 million
Salary: $1,500,000
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $25,465,004 million
Duration with the company: Since 2014
* Claure's total compensation for 2015 is based on a Turnaround Incentive Award that will only be earned if Sprint's stock achieves a volume-weighted average price of $8.

3. Google CFO Ruth Porat

Ruth Porat

Total compensation (2015): $31,051,486 million
Total compensation (2014):
Salary: $395,000  
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $30,656,486 million
Duration with the company: Since 2015

2. Former Google CFO/Advisor Patrick Pichette

Patrick Pichette

Total compensation (2015): $56,616,991 million
Total compensation (2014): $43,757,484 million  
Salary: $322,501  
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $56,294,490 million
Duration with the company: From 2008 to May 2015

1. Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai

Total compensation (2015): $100,632,102 million
Total compensation (2014):
Salary: $652,500
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $99,979,602 million
Duration with the company: Since 2004

This article has been updated to include information about Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure's stock performance-based incentives and to reflect that Claure only receives those awards if Sprint's stock gets to $8.

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