AT&T honcho asks for bonus freeze

Ok, I know I’ll get a few emails for reporting news of yet another CEO relinquishing an annual bonus in the wake of corporate layoffs.

That’s what I got when I wrote about Motorola’s top leaders in December [taking](/bus-news/article.php/3792036/Motorola+Slashes+Chief+Pay+Employee+Bonuses.htm) voluntary 25 percent cuts in base salary and bonuses.

Co-CEOs Greg Brown and Sanjay Jha are voluntarily taking a 25 percent cut in base salary. Brown is also declining his cash bonus for this year and Jha is reducing his cash bonus by the same amount.

According to SEC documents Brown and Jha are both salaried at $1.2 million for 2008. Jha’s bonus is stipulated to be at least 200 percent of his base salary and he is contractually guaranteed a 2008 bonus of $2.4 million. Brown, who is closing out his first year as CEO, would have received a 220 percent bonus for 2008.

Now add AT&T honchos to the list.

In early December AT&T [announced](/mobility/article.php/3789166/ATT+Cuts+Staff+in+Focus+on+Wireless+Data.htm) it was laying off 12,000 employees, about 4 percent of its workforce, in an reorganization that will also increase staffing in its wireless, broadband and video business lines.

Last Friday AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson announced he wants to forgo the bonus earned on last year’s performance as part of the company’s decision to freeze salary increases for 120,000 nonunion managers and executives this year.

The top U.S. wireless carrier had 309,000 employees worldwide as of the end of 2007.

But AT&T’s far from losing money at this point. Revenues grew 4 percent last year and earnings per share grew more than 11 percent, as a spokesman pointed out.

Randall, according to AT&T, told employees that asking the board to withhold his bonus, which is 25 percent of his total compensation, was “the right thing to do … we are a company that expects the highest performance and accountability, and that starts at the top.”

Ok, what does that total?

Well AT&T said it will provide that information in the next SEC compensation filing requirement and declined to tell me what his current salary is at this point.

According to [Business Week](, Randall’s total compensation is $1.8 million.

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