AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson received $28.4 million in compensation for 2016, a 13 percent increase from the prior year as he inked his biggest deal as head of the Dallas-based company.
Stephenson’s package included $16.1 million in stock awards and $5.7 million in cash from an incentive plan, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday. The cash payout was tied to earnings per share and cash flow. Since 2009, the CEO has received at least 75 percent of his target cash incentive each year.
AT&T’s proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, announced in October, marks the biggest deal yet for Stephenson. He made the company the largest U.S. pay-TV service with the $67 billion purchase of DirecTV in 2015 and is now transforming AT&T into a media powerhouse as well.
The Time Warner marriage, which has met opposition from some lawmakers, is still awaiting regulatory approval.
AT&T faced similar headwinds in 2011, when it tried to acquire T-Mobile in a $39 billion deal that ultimately fell through. The board cut Stephenson’s incentive pay by $1.26 million for that year. The failed acquisition also reduced payouts of certain previously granted equity awards, a filing shows.
AT&T signed 520,000 new monthly wireless subscribers in the final quarter of 2016, beating market expectations. The company’s pay-TV customers held steady at 25.3 million, not counting the 200,000 signups for DirecTV Now, a new online video service. The stock jumped 24 percent in 2016.
Stephenson’s compensation package also included $1.79 million in salary. His stock awards are split between shares tied to performance and some that vest over four years if he stays on the job.
Rafael De La Vega, who was head of AT&T International, received $12 million for 2016, while John Stankey, who leads AT&T Entertainment, got $12.8 million.