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AT&T’s 5 Most Highly Compensated Executives In 2021

Gina Narcisi

The telecom industry in 2021 bounced back from pandemic-related financial impacts of 2020, which meant strong salaries, bounces, and raises for AT&T’s leadership team.

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The telecom industry is going strong and AT&T, one of the country’s largest service providers, is leaning heavily on its telecom roots for fiscal growth.

Overall, the carrier saw a return to profitability across many of its segments in 2021 after its revenues were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. For the full 2021 year, AT&T posted total operating revenues of $168.86 billion, down 1.7 percent from $171.76 billion in 2020. The carrier in 2021 closed its sale of satellite television service DirecTV to TPG Capital for $7.1 billion in cash in a deal that will help AT&T continue its strategic telecom services investment strategy this year, which includes its aggressively expanding 5G buildout, according to the Dallas-based company.

The solid 2021 fiscal year, which included gains in the company’s Business Wireless Services and Mobility segments, meant significant payouts for several of AT&T’s leaders, including CEO John Stankey, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel David McAtee and Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications LLC.

Here’s a breakdown of the 2021 total compensation of AT&T’s top five execs as reported in a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

5. Pascal Desroches, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO

Telecom veteran Desroches was promoted to CFO last April, joining the top five highest paid executives for the company for the first time. Prior to 2021, Desroches was CFO of AT&T’s now-offloaded WarnerMedia business, having served as executive vice president and CFO of Turner Broadcasting System and senior vice president and controller of Time Warner, Inc., before AT&T acquired the company in 2018.

In 2021, Desroches’ salary was $1.25 million. He received $5.99 million in stock awards, $3.38 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $1.11 million in “other compensation” related to travel for his relocation. His total compensation was $11.75 million in 2021.

4. Lori Lee, CEO, AT&T Latin America and Global Marketing Officer

Lee, who has been named Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business and the National Diversity Council’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Tech, joined AT&T in 1997 and has served in a variety of roles, including chief marketing officer for the Home Solutions and Small Business groups. She’s also worked in finance, investor relations, customer service and corporate strategy. Like Desroches, Lee also became one of the top five highest paid executives for the company for the first time in 2021.

Lee’s 2021 salary was $750,000. She received $4.03 million in stock awards, $1.82 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $689,009 in change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings, and $222,746 “other compensation” related to travel related to personal benefits and company-paid life insurance premiums and Company matching contributions to deferral plans, according to AT&T.

In 2021, Lee’s total compensation was $7.51 million.

3. David McAtee, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel

McAtee’s salary for the 2021 fiscal year was $1.30 million, up from $1.29 million in 2020. He received $5.35 million in stock awards, $2.89 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $201,040 in change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings and $801,379 in “other compensation” related to personal benefits, relocation benefits, consulting payments and benefits, company-paid life insurance premiums. The filing said that McAtee’s amount shown for use of Company aircraft represents flights taken for medical treatments.

His total compensation for 2021 was $10.54 million.

2. Jeff McElfresh, CEO, AT&T Communications, LLC

McElfresh’s salary for the 2021 fiscal year was $1.00 million, a bump up from $850,000 in 2020. He received $8.50 million in stock awards, $2.42 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $134,002 in change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings and $275,524 in “other compensation” related to travel related to personal benefits and company-paid life insurance premiums and Company matching contributions to deferral plans, according to AT&T.

His total compensation for 2021 was $12.39 million.

1. John Stankey, CEO

An AT&T veteran of more than 30 years after joining in 1985, Stankey was promoted to CEO in 2020 after taking the reins from Randall Stephenson, who led at the helm of the service provider for 13 years. Prior to his time as CEO, Stankey served as AT&T’s president and chief operating officer. He also previously led the carrier’s wireline operations and oversaw DirecTV, which AT&T acquired in 2015

Stankey’s salary for the 2021 fiscal year was $2.40 million, up from $2.05 million in 2020. He received $13.42 million in stock awards, $6.89 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $1.47 million in change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings and $643,669 in “other compensation” related to relocation benefits. The filing said that Stankey and former CEO Randall Stephenson reimbursed AT&T in 2021 for the incremental cost of their personal use of Company aircraft.

Stankey’s total compensation for the year was $24.82 million.

 

Learn More: AT&T | Telecom
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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