Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has handed back $3.25 million of his own salary in a bid to appease shareholders who have been upset by the carrier’s iPhone deal with Apple. Shareholders spoke out against the arrangement when it was discovered that Sprint did not consider the financial effect of carrying the iPhone when it calculated employee bonuses.
The compensation was revealed when a filing was made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission early this week. Hesse then followed that up with a letter that explains his decision to hand back some of his pay:
I do not want, nor does our Compensation Committee want, to penalize Sprint employees for the company’s investment with Apple. I’m hopeful these actions will allow the company to remain focused on delivering the best overall customer experience in the wireless industry, which is what will serve the company best in the long run.
Hesse was accused of gambling with Sprint and betting the whole company on the iPhone when he agree to purchase 30.5 million iPhones from Apple for $20 billion over the next four years. While he admits that the deal will see the company lose money until 2014, Hesse remains confident that Apple’s smartphone will help turn Sprint around over the next few years.
Sprint’s Board Chairman, James Hance Jr., praised Hesse for sacrificing his own salary in a written statement, which read:
We applaud Dan for his willingness to sacrifice personal compensation in order to reduce any distraction that could negatively affect the morale and performance of the company. Dan enjoys the full support of our board of directors, and we appreciate the leadership he has demonstrated as he continues to guide the company through a turnaround in a difficult competitive environment.
During the first quarter of 2012, Sprint sold 1.5 million iPhones in total, 44% of which went to new customers.