Big Pay: T-Mobile’s Ex-CEO John Legere Got $137M Severance

  • General
  • April 26, 2021
  • 376
  • 6 minutes read
John Legere

In modern America, big corporate paydays on the scale not often seen in many other countries doesn’t seem to be rare, with CEO pay for public companies at a record high. One such payday happened to be clinched by the former CEO of telecoms giant T-Mobile US who’s John Legere.

  • In a recently unveiled filing by T-Mobile with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it’s revealed that John Legere pocketed around $137 million in severance pay when he left the CEO position at T-Mobile in April 2020. This big pay was further garnished with $600,000 in salary and $50,000 in reimbursement for legal fees for working from January till April.
  • Legere’s $137 million severance pay was bestowed after he completed T-Mobile’s landmark merger deal with competitor Sprint just on the cusp of him leaving the company. The merger was the culmination of Legere’s 8-year term as CEO with the last two spent battling for the merger to pull through amidst high antitrust scrutiny.
  • As the boss of T-Mobile US, Legere was paid handsomely over the years, collecting $28 million in 2019 and $67 million in the year before that. In previous years, most of Legere’s pay came from vesting stock awards but in 2020 he earned a lump-sum severance of $137 million split into cash and accelerated equity vesting upon termination.
  • Very large severance pay like Legere’s isn’t unheard of in corporate America. It goes back to two decades ago when Jack Welch, the late former CEO of General Electric took in $417 million in severance pay after leaving his role in what’s believed to be the largest CEO severance pay in modern America.
  • Just like Legere, current C-suite executives at T-Mobile also drew big paydays in 2020 though not as large as his. They include new CEO Michael Siever who earned $55 million and CTO Neville Ray who earned $33 million.
  • Under Legere’s leadership from 2012-2020, annual revenues of T-Mobile US grew from $20 billion to $68 billion, and within that same time frame, the telecoms giant’s market value grew from $4 billion to over $100 billion. With these stats, it doesn’t seem like T-Mobile’s shareholders will balk at Legere’s high severance pay.

Photo credit: acereporter73licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


  • Being a CEO in USA is like winning the Powerball Lottery each week.

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