On a list of telecom executives put together by Light Reading, it makes sense that Sprint’s CEO be making the most money per year at almost $22 million. Nevermind that the stock has fallen more than 50% since last year. It makes sense because of the pure absurdity of the telecom executives making as much as they do with as little results as they produce.
Remember Sprint’s former CEO, Dan Hesse, who made almost $50 million in 2013? The same guy that lead Sprint into wireless oblivion the last few years? The same guy who cut thousands upon thousands of jobs the last few years even while the company lost customers and money to competitors?
Understand, I have no issue with a CEO making millions. None. I take issue with a company proclaiming the need to take massive cuts then increasing pay for executives who actually do little to nothing and/or are in charge of a company failing on all financial levels. Note that when I say “do nothing”, I understand that a CEO of a billion dollar company does a lot of business for that company. But again, this same company is still cutting very needed lower-tier jobs at the very same time.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) is a great example of complete ineptitude followed by absurd pay. Just this year, it has been reported that TWC would be take at least a $1 billion loss on their purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers regional sports network. Apparently, everyone but TWC realized that spending billions on this sports channel was not the correct financial move. Then there are the many reports of TWC expecting many job cuts if their merger with Charter is approved.
So, again, it makes sense TWC CEO Rob Marcus would be making $34.6 million in total compensation in 2014. Let’s not forget that he was GOING to make $80 million personally if the Comcast deal had gotten approval from regulators. Yes, $80 million. Does he personally profit off the merger with Charter?
The value of Mr. Marcus’s exit package should he leave within two years of a change in control will be around $97 million, according to an analysis of his employment agreement by Mark Reilly, head of executive compensation practice for Verisight Inc., a human resources consultancy. The analysis was conducted at the request of The Wall Street Journal.
Former Charter CEO Neil Smit stepped down in 2011 after years of presiding over a telecom that hadn’t been profitable since the company went public in 1999. Surely, that had an effect on his pay, right? Nah, in 2009, he got his pay doubled to $7.4 million even though the company had just posted a $2.45 billion loss from the previous year. Then there were all of those annoying but slightly important massive debt issues facing the company….atrocious customer service….bankruptcy….all sorts of things that tend to hurt a normal business CEO.
Just recently, we saw that current Charter CEO Tom Rutledge had his yearly compensation quadrupled from $4.5 million to $16.1 million in 2014, according to Securities Exchange Commission filings. Yet, Charter continues to claim that they need to minimize costs. Charter employees around the country continue to be under the belief that Charter will cut a significant amount of jobs after the merger with TWC is complete.
Then we have other telecom CEO’s making millions yet they can barely keep their company out of bankruptcy and continue slashing jobs around the country.
Again, CEO’s making millions isn’t the issue. It is the idea of giving someone a salary so excessive while he does a poor job keeping the company financially health. Should the CEO be making more than a regular installer? Of course. But the idea that CEO should be making $50 million per year while lower-level employees struggle keeping their jobs and/or struggle with near minimum wage work is absurd.