2007 Sale Puts Five Alltel Execs Atop Pay List

by John Henry  on Monday, Jul. 28, 2008 12:00 am  

(To see the list of the most-paid executives for Arkansas public companies, click on the appropriate page number: 1 2 3 4 5 or 6. A spreadsheet version is available here.)

There's nothing quite like selling a company for $27.5 billion. Just ask the top executives of Alltel Corp.

Last year's sale of the nation's fifth-largest wireless communications company to private equity firms TPG Capital LLC and GS Capital Partners boosted five Alltel execs to the top of this year's list of executive compensation.

The deal was so big - and the execs' take so hefty - that it was impossible to calculate a meaningful median or average compensation figure for the leaders of the state's public companies.

Scott Ford, chief executive officer of Alltel, reaped the biggest benefit. In 2006 he received $16.4 million in total compensation. In 2007 that jumped to $146.4 million.

Ford's salary last year was just $1.2 million, but he realized a gain of $18.7 million from stock options before the sale and another $9.6 million in stock awards, along with $7.5 million in bonus pay. That $37 million alone would have made him No. 1 among the state's public company execs. But with the sale, Ford garnered another $109.3 million in other compensation to push him far ahead of anyone else.

The other four Alltel executives who comprise the top of the list are Jeffrey Fox, Kevin Beebe, Richard Massey and Sharilyn Gasaway.

Fox, a group president, got a $49.1 million jump with the sale to boost his total compensation to $71 million. In 2006, he took home $10.5 million.

Beebe, also a group president, received $51.5 million from the sale, increasing his total take to $61 million. He earned $9.8 million the year before.

Massey, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, who earned $3.1 million in 2006, got $43.3 million from the sale, propelling him to $50.9 million last year.

Gasaway, another EVP, netted $36.7 million last year after a $30 million benefit from the sale. Her take in 2006 was $2.9 million.

With their stock sold in taking the company private, the latest flip of Alltel to Verizon Communications Inc. in a $28.1 billion deal this year won't have the same impact on the exec's pay. Indeed, some will be looking for other work - if they want it.



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