Sprint’s Hesse Poised for $40 Million or More in Severance Pay

Sprint Corp. may owe outgoing Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse severance pay exceeding $40 million in cash, stock and benefits.

Most of the package comes from long-term incentives such as stock options and restricted stock. That portion was valued at $48.3 million alone at the end of March, though Sprint shares have fallen 21 percent since. Hesse’s total severance package would have been $56.2 million at the time, according to a filing in June.

Sprint hired Brightstar Corp. CEO Marcelo Claure to replace Hesse, 60, after abandoning talks for a merger with T-Mobile US Inc. Hesse has led the third-largest wireless carrier since 2007 and starred in a series of black-and-white TV commercials to help the company restore its image, which was tarnished by service problems after a merger with Nextel Communications Inc.

Hesse was the highest-paid CEO in the U.S. wireless industry last year, with $49.1 million in compensation, including $27.8 million in stock awards.

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