AT&T CEO Nabbed Record $32 Million Compensation In 2019, Despite Rampant Bumbling, Layoffs

from the ill-communication dept

Last year wasn’t a particularly good one for AT&T. Despite spending more than $150 billion in mergers in a bid to dominate the streaming video space, the company instead lost 4 million TV subscribers on the year, not exactly what company executives were aiming for. Not only did AT&T’s mergers saddle the company with a mountain of debt, the company then tried to extract that debt from its customers in the form of numerous price hikes, ignoring that’s not how streaming TV competition is going to work. The company also bumbled its streaming TV branding so badly, it confused even the company’s own marketing and support departments.

That’s before you get to AT&T’s empty promises in 2019, which include receiving billions in regulatory favors (like killing net neutrality and privacy rules at the FCC), subsidies, and $42 billion in Trump tax cuts for promises that never materialized. Not only did they not materialize, but AT&T actually engaged in the exact opposite behavior it had originally promised, trimming overall network investment and laying off nearly 37,000 jobs just since the Trump tax cuts were announced.

Now your first question is probably but how is AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson doing in the wake of all this? Well you’ll be happy to know he’s just fine: Stephenson received a record $32 million in compensation in 2019, despite a wave of bungled merger mania so intense it even pissed off the company’s investors, triggering a revolt. But yes, good job, Randall:

“AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s total compensation was more than $32 million in 2019, giving him a 10 percent raise while he slashed tens of thousands of jobs and reduced spending on network upgrades. Stephenson’s total compensation was $28.72 million in 2017, $29.12 million in 2018, and $32.03 million in 2019, an AT&T filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission said. His pay raise was driven by stock performance.”

In short, AT&T’s employees have been asked to share the brunt of Stephenson’s missteps, while Stephenson himself saw his pay increase dramatically. Not too surprisingly, the thousands of AT&T employees fired aren’t particularly okay with that:

“That felt like a complete slap in the face, saying how great we were but here is your final pay stub because we did so great last year so we?re going to keep this money and not invest in back into the employment force like they said they would,? said Lorenzano, who worked at the company for over four years before receiving his termination notice, along with dozens of other AT&T DirecTV technicians across California.”

Again, you’ll see no shortage of stories ahead of mergers (like AT&T Time Warner, or T-Mobile Sprint) parroting telecom companies usually false claims that such megadeals create “amazing new synergies.” In reality, they generally involve head fakes and layoffs, yet for every 1,000 stories hyping the claimed benefits of such deals, there’s only a handful that follow up to see if those promises actually materialized. When it comes to AT&T, nearly everything the company promised would happen in 2019 failed to happen. And while the employees and customers paid the price, its CEO was, once again, handsomely rewarded.

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Companies: at&t

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Comments on “AT&T CEO Nabbed Record $32 Million Compensation In 2019, Despite Rampant Bumbling, Layoffs”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Makes sense

And you know what’s gonna happen next, right? The compensation committees hired by other corporate boards will use this $32M/year as a point of comparison to justify pay raises to their own CEOs. The board is, after all, often made up of CEOs/ex-CEOs/future-CEOs of other companies. One hand washes the other.

It’s hard for shareholders to claim it’s a breach of fiduciary duty when everyone else is doing it; and, anyway, the board and officers often make up the majority of those.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

ECA (profile) says:

Lets see....

It USED to be that the wages on top were based on the profits Gained at the end of year. Minus the stocks they had to pay for.
NOW, they give very little in compensation to those persons with Stocks, They Cut the personnel, wonder Why everyone still there is working so hard, Why some things arent getting done. Why all the yes men are running away.

Anyone consider that $3000+ per hour 24 hours per day, All 365 days is allot of money?? Or how about $9000+ per hour for 8 hours of his life, for the year? Then add benefits.

anyone wonder WTF is happening to this country, when the corps keep doing For themselves, and not helping those working people. All those that they Fired, Should NOT use ATT services.. Another Dent to the company when your OWN employees wont use the service.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lets see....

Nice thought but if AT&T is the only service available in your area your choices are:

  1. Suck it up and use AT&T
  2. Go without internet
  3. Move

2 is totally impractical these days and would really hamper finding a new job to replace the one you just lost.

3 is even less practical for someone who just lost their job.

We need to tie executive salary to the number of jobs created rather than closed, and cap it at a reasonable level. I don’t care what company the CEO works for, no executive is worth more than 10 times the salary of their lowest paid employee. CEO wants a raise? Great, raise everyone else’s wages, too.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lets see....

Good points, but they dont work well either..
How about the idea that the More he makes for the corp, the more he makes, BASED on the Percentage of profit?

AS it was in the old days..
If business goes down, so does your wages. YOU Help the business make more money and you get more..
You fire allot of people or a Sub company doing the Customer service, the JOBS dont get down, you piss off allot of Customers…and you loose money??
Or do you look into Leasing Content from other services to keep you on TOP. You install BETTER programming, you ASK the customers WHAT they want..
You DROP the caps on cellphones and Internet..

Anyone using broadcast?? notice Channel problems?? Starting to wonder if the Broadcast system is being SHUT DOWN and costing to much.

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