Executive compensation has been a hot-button issue among politicians and shareholders.
Now one CEO is giving money back. In a letter to his company, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse announced last week that he would return $3.25 million in compensation he received last year.
The move came after some Sprint shareholders complained that in 2011 the company broke its own guidelines for calculating Hesse’s pay, the Washington Post reported.
Costs associated with selling Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone were eliminated from the company’s performance-based metric, which increased Hesse’s overall compensation to $11.9 million last year, up 31% compared to 2010.
Hesse said he will return $2 million in 2011 performance pay. He will also reduce his annual salary by $346,223 for this year, and trim this year’s bonus. Additionally, he indicated that he will decline $544,607 in pending payments related to last year’s performance.
Sprint, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, has struggled to compete with AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ). The company has lost money for five consecutive years and recently posted a greater-than-anticipated loss for the first quarter of this year.