AT&T chief executive John Stankey’s compensation totaled $24.8 million last year, up from $21 million the year earlier. According to a proxy statement filed with the SEC, retired CEO Randall Stephenson made $16.3 million in 2021 (down from $29 million).
Stephenson stepped down as CEO after 13 years at the helm in July of 2020 and continued as executive chairman through Jan. of 2021. Proxies usually include pay packages for a company’s five highest paid executives. AT&T listed seven including Stephenson. “AT&T is reporting a seventh NEO [named executive officer] this year to account for a retired Executive Officer who would have been among the most highly compensated group if working as an active Executive Officer at the end of the year,” the filing said.
When Stephenson stepped down Jan. 19 of 2021, AT&T said it had entered a one-year consulting contract with him for $1 million. Today’s proxy valued the consulting agreement at an $12 million. which it said “represents the lift on the proration of his outstanding performance shares. The [Compensation]] Committee approved this action to tie Mr. Stephenson’s consulting term to company performance.”
Stephenson presided over the acquisition of Time Warner, which became WarnerMedia and is in the process of being spun-off from AT&T and merged with Discovery.
The other additional name is a spit between two CFOs as Pascal Desroches ($11.7 million) replaced John Stephens ($4.1 million) in March of 2021.
Stankey’s package included a $2.4 million base salary; stock awards for $13.4 million and a bonus called non-equity incentive plan compensation of $6.8 million.
Stephenson’s compensation included a salary of $125,768; $2.9 million for the category called “change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings”; and $13.2 million in “other” compensation, the bulk of which was his consulting agreement as per above.
WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar wasn’t in the top group. His compensation in last year’s proxy, which included stock awards valued at $48 million in 2020 for a total package of $52 million, made a bit of noise.
The other highest-paid execs named this year were Lori Lee, CEO of AT&T Latin America and Global Marketing Officer; chief counsel David McAtee; and Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications.
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