Telefonica ex-COO received 25 mln euro pay-off

MADRID Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:34am EST

MADRID Feb 28 (Reuters) - Spanish telecoms company Telefonica paid former Chief Operating Officer Julio Linares 25 million euros ($32.8 million) in compensation in a management rejig in 2012, upping total executive payouts by 80 percent from the year before.

Telefonica, which sold a number of assets and scrapped its dividend last year to pare debt, also cut board member pay by 20 percent as part of its cash-raising drive.

However, documents sent to the stock market regulator on Thursday showed the company paid out 50.6 million euros to executives in 2012, compared to 28.2 million euros the year before.

COO Linares received 24.7 million euros as compensation when he was replaced by Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete in September as part of a management reshuffle that saw Eva Castillo take over Alvarez-Pallete's role as head of the company's European business.

Telefonica said excluding compensation for Linares and bonuses he received, executive pay in 2012 was lower at 22.4 million euros. Linares remains on the board of the company.

The Spanish telecoms giant reported a 27 percent drop in net profit on Thursday, after making writedowns on various businesses. It reported a dip in revenues and rise in operating income in line with estimates.

Analysts cheered signs of stabilisation in the group's domestic business.

Telefonica, which listed its German unit last year as part of a series of debt reduction measures, said it aimed to reduce debt to under 47 billion euros in 2013, compared to 51.3 billion euros at end-2012. ($1 = 0.7628 euros) (Reporting by Robert Hetz and Clare Kane)

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