Sprint CEO's Pay Drops 26% to $9.1 Million

Dan Hesse's bonus more than tripled in 2010, yet his total pay package plummeted 26%, as Sprint Nextel reported stabilizing revenue for the year.

Hesse, who is CEO and president of Sprint Nextel, received compensation worth $9.1 million in 2010, down from $12.3 million in 2009, according to documents filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Hesse's pay package included his $1.2 million salary, which is unchanged from the salary he received in 2009.

Hesse also received a performance-based cash bonus of $4.4 million, which is a more than threefold increase over the prior year's $1.3 million cash bonus. According to Sprint Nextel, a number of positive gains influenced the value of the incentive-based bonuses earned by Hesse and Sprint Nextel's other senior executives. Those gains include improvements in postpaid subscriber churn, 4G subscriber additions, and customer experience metrics.

The combined value of Hesse's equity awards fell sharply in 2010. He received stock awards valued at $1.7 million at the time they were granted, which is up from $708,333 in 2009 - but his option awards were valued at $1.8 million, an 80% drop from $9.1 million in 2009.

His other compensation and perquisites totaled $15,002, which includes $7,579 for residential security systems and equipment, $5,887 for personal use of company aircraft, and $1,536 for company contributions to 401(k) and deferred compensation plans.

The company, meanwhile, saw a slight uptick in revenue but a wider net loss in its 2010 fiscal year ended Dec. 31. Operating revenue came in at $32.6 billion, up 1% from $32.3 billion in 2009. Sprint Nextel reported a net loss of $3.5 billion in 2010, compared to $2.4 billion in the prior year.

Hesse's total pay is calculated using data supplied in a proxy statement filed with the SEC on March 28. The following figures are taken from the summary compensation table: salary, stock awards, option awards, non-equity incentive place compensation (performance-based cash bonus), and all other compensation. The estimated value of equity awards represents the grant date fair value for stock awards and stock options granted during the fiscal year.

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