T-Mobile CEO paid RM275m post-Sprint deal

NEW YORK • T-Mobile US Inc granted CEO John Legere (picture) a US$66.5 million (RM274.64 million) compensation package last year, largely dependent on whether he can complete a proposed tie-up with Sprint Corp.

The bulk of Legere’s package came from a stock award granted the same day the deal was announced in April 2018, according to a regulatory filing last Friday.

The payout is tied to T-Mobile’s stock return and Legere remaining on the job to see the acquisition through.

Legere — known for his straggly hair, magenta T-shirts and Twitter antics — has made frequent trips to Washington to lobby for the proposed combination.

The US$26.5 billion deal between the thirdand fourth-largest US wireless carriers has been under review for more than nine months, drawing criticism from Democrats and policy groups who said it would limit competition and threaten higher prices.

Besides the US Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission, state attorneys general are investigating the merger.

Some of the states are also concerned that the deal could harm competition and are considering a lawsuit to block the tie-up on antitrust grounds, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in March.

Legere will get roughly 600,000 T-Mobile shares if the company’s stock return over the next few years falls in the 50th percentile of a group of other telecommunications and tech firms.

The filing pegged his estimated payout at roughly US$44 million. But if T-Mobile outperforms more than half or all its peers over that period, he will pocket up to twice as many shares. At least three other top executives received similar, but smaller awards.

Legere also received about US$8 million in salary and bonuses, and additional equity awards worth US$14.4 million, the filing said.

Legere has a chance of earning his big award even if the merger falls apart — the shares will pay out as long as he remains on the job for another year and T-Mobile’s shares outperform peers. — Bloomberg