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AT&T’s Randall Stephenson Made $28.4M In 2016, Up 13.1%

Deadline logo Deadline 3/10/2017 David Lieberman
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It will be interesting to see whether AT&T’s board gives its execs a big raise next year, assuming it completes its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

The telco’s CEO Randall Stephenson did well last year — making $28.4 million, a 13.1% increase — according to the company’s proxy, submitted today to the SEC. But that’s still less than the $31.5 million that his potential underling, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, made in 2015.

Stephenson’s 2016 package included $1.8 million salary, $16.1 million in stock awards, $5.7 million in non-equity incentives, $3.5 million change in pension value, and $1.4 million in other compensation, The “other” category included $1.2 million from the company’s matching contribution to his 401(k) plan.

Unlike most media executives, Stephenson reimburses the company for the incremental cost of his personal use of AT&T’s aircraft. (Time Warner paid $165,625 for Bewkes’ aircraft use in 2015.) The board gave the CEO 133% of his performance share payout after the company hit its financial and three-year stock targets.

It did not make a discretionary adjustment in the year when he made the Time Warner deal.

AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey — whose operation includes DirecTV, DirecTV Now, and U-verse — made $12.8 million, up 27.1%.

AT&T shares appreciated 22.7% in 2016.

Shareholders plan to offer four resolutions at the annual meeting, scheduled for April 28 in Dallas.

One calls on AT&T to prepare a semi-annual report disclosing the indirect monetary and non-monetary expenditures it has made for political purposes — but would not have to include payments for lobbying.

That would “bring our Company in line with a growing number of leading companies” including Time Warner, the proposal says. “Disclosure permits oversight and accountability.”

AT&T opposes the change, saying that it already “discloses its participation in the legislative process” and adding that “spending further corporate funds to generate additional reports would not be a productive use of corporate resources.”

The telco also opposes a separate proposal for it to provide its shareholders more information about its lobbying expenses. AT&T says that it’s “not dictated by law” and “not standard among other companies.”

The board also is against a proposal that would make it easier for shareholders to nominate directors, and to propose resolutions by written consent instead of having to wait for a scheduled annual meeting. Directors say that it’s bylaws currently allow shareholders to call for a special meeting if owners of 15% approve — making the proposal superfluous.

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