Sprint has been something of an underdog in the U.S. wireless space for years now, and while the iPhone
has absolutely changed the course of AT&T and Verizon Wireless, it has only recently started to ship on Sprint
. The first change Sprint had to grab the iPhone came at the iPhone 4S event in October 2010, and while the real numbers are murky, it's estimated that Sprint invested billions over a number of years to make that deal happen. That's a lot of scratch for a carrier that is struggling to maintain a user base, and shareholders are finally speaking up about it. According to Reuters, Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse has agreed to a pay cut after "coming under fire from some shareholders disappointed with the hit the company's results took from subsidizing Apple's popular iPhones."
Hesse has said that his salary will be cut in order to repay around $346,000 in incentive pay that he has already received, and he'll also give up additional amounts that was previously eligible for. Here's Hesse's statement: "These voluntary actions regarding my personal compensation, which total $3,250,830, will eliminate any benefit for me to the discretionary adjustment the compensation committee made earlier this year."
Yeah, that's a lot of money, but the move will still put him at a salary level nearly in line with 2010 levels, and Sprint still has a long way to go before that $15 billion bet on the iPhone proves worthwhile.