UPDATE 1-Sprint CEO to take pay cut as iPhone costs pinch

Fri May 4, 2012 7:51pm EDT

May 4 (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel chief Daniel Hesse said he would take a cut in pay this year, after coming under fire from some shareholders disappointed with the hit the company's results took from subsidizing Apple's popular iPhones.

Hesse said his 2012 salary would be cut to repay about $346,000 in incentive pay that he has already received and forfeit additional amounts that he was eligible to receive under his 2011 and 2012 incentive plans.

"These voluntary actions regarding my personal compensation, which total $3,250,830, will eliminate any benefit for me to the discretionary adjustment the compensation committee made earlier this year," Hesse said in a letter to the company's human resources department.

The CEO said his actions would set his 2012 incentive compensation target opportunities back to 2010 levels.

Sprint's massive $15 billion bet on selling Apple's iPhones has not gone too well with investors, disappointed that the high subsidies on the device had pushed up costs at the No. 3 U.S. operator, even as it added more subscribers.

Sprint, which started taking iPhone orders on Oct. 7, pays Apple a subsidy that is 40 percent higher, or $200 more per device, than what it pays for other phones.

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