Should CEO Pay Be Part of Sprint's $2B Shave?

The news last week that Sprint plans to shave $2 billion off its expenses in fiscal year 2016 brings up an interesting issue for the operator's new CEO Marcelo Claure.

Claure said that "no stone will be left unturned" in examining where the operator can cut costs on last Wednesday's Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) earnings call, which begs the question: Should the CEO -- and his board -- be considering his own pay packet in that equation? (See Sprint to Take $2B Shave.)

Like his predecessor Dan Hesse, Claure is one of the biggest earners in the communications business. He joined Sprint in August 2014 and earned nearly $22 million for fiscal 2014. Sprint usually reveals executive compensation in late June ahead of its annual shareholder's meeting. So we should find out what Claure is earning for fiscal 2015 next summer.

For more on mobile, visit the dedicated section here on Light Reading.

It is certainly not unheard of for tech CEOs to work for a symbolic dollar a year and take their recompense in the form of stock options instead. Notable examples of this include Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)'s Larry Ellison in the 2010 to 2011 period and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) founders Sergy Brin and Larry Page, amongst many others.

Traditionally, in the communications business, however, CEOs at major carriers get a salary and a very healthy wedge of extra perks too. Check out Light Reading's review of executive pay for fiscal 2014 to get the idea. (See Because They're Worth It?)

Recall that Claure has given himself three to five years to turn around Sprint. This could be a very lucrative time for the CEO at current compensation rates.

What do you think, readers? Should Claure's pay be in the mix as part of Sprint's cost-cutting measures?

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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DanJones 11/10/2015 | 4:31:28 PM
Re: Claure... Everytime an employee travels somewhere on a Greyhound bus with their whippet or other stray mutt have them install a sneaky new Sprint radio small cell! That'd be one way of expanding the network fast.
mendyk 11/10/2015 | 3:26:28 PM
Re: Claure... Speaking of greyhounds... reduce office overhead by subletting unused cubicles to dog kennels, and then contract out remaining employees as part-time caretakers to defray some of their salary expenses.
brooks7 11/10/2015 | 2:16:38 PM
Re: Claure... All travel is by Greyhound bus...You used to be able to get an all month pass for $39.



mendyk 11/10/2015 | 10:48:48 AM
Re: Claure... And we'd have a killer cycling team.
KBode 11/10/2015 | 10:44:35 AM
Re: Claure... I hadn't even considered that it would bring down employee health care and insurance costs. It's obvious that Masayoshi Son should be paying you and I for our ingenious ability to cut costs. With us at the helm I bet that working network that always seems to be around the next corner would be realized in no time. :)
mendyk 11/10/2015 | 10:41:47 AM
Re: Claure... Brilliant idea -- plus it can be a centerpiece of a new employee wellness initiative.
KBode 11/10/2015 | 10:38:12 AM
Re: Claure... I also think that Sprint should perhaps consider employee bicycle cubicles that help defray some of the company's electricity costs? Have them cycle as they work? Seems like the sky is the limit for cost savings. :)
mendyk 11/10/2015 | 9:53:12 AM
Re: Claure... Yes -- and facial tissues and disinfectant wipes. That's got to be about $20K in annual savings -- enough to pay for a couple of hours of Mr. Claure's salary!
KBode 11/10/2015 | 9:48:53 AM
Re: Claure... "Maybe it's appropriate to crowdsource a Top 10 list of helpful suggestions for Sprint to whack away at its spending budget beyond eliminating free coffee and self-serve trash removal."

All Sprint employees must bring their own toilet paper and hand soap! :)

Not sure what good a better network will be if there's nobody talented left in house to run it. 
mendyk 11/10/2015 | 8:45:56 AM
Re: Claure... Dan -- Maybe it's appropriate to crowdsource a Top 10 list of helpful suggestions for Sprint to whack away at its spending budget beyond eliminating free coffee and self-serve trash removal. For instance, mandate BYOD and eliminate any reimbursement for phone usage. Two birds, one stone. And requiring all employees to be Sprint subscribers at the most expensive service level would be a nice little bump on the revenue side.
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