Sprint CEO Earns Much Less Than Verizon and AT&T Chiefs

Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse’s income received a nice little boost last year. According to a regulatory filing, Hesse raked in almost $3 million more in 2011 than in 2010.

Hesse’s total income last year was $11.9 million, which included $1.2 million in salary, $829,000 in bonuses, $3.2 million in stock awards, $1.7 million in stock options, $4.8 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $94,000 in other compensation. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Hesse’s income jumped by $3 million in 2011 thanks to a $829,000 bonus, which he didn’t receive in 2009 or 2010, plus an increase of $1.6 million more in stock awards over the previous year and an extra $500,000 in non-equity compensation.

Although $11.9 million does seem like a tidy little sum, Hesse’s 2011 compensation was actually down from 2009 when he brought in $12.3 million. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that while Hesse isn’t exactly hurting for money, his compensation is peanuts compared with what some of his peers make. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) disclosed last week in an SEC filing that its CEO Lowell McAdam received $23.1 million in compensation in 2011, while AT&T (NYSE:T) paid its CEO Randall Stephenson a healthy $22 million.

It’s anybody’s guess why Sprint’s board compensation committee blew off the enormous amount of money Hesse and his executive team spent on launching the iPhone through his company’s service, calling the move an “extraordinary circumstance.” Sprint lost $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, mainly due to the cost of iPhone subsidies.