AT&T CEO Leaving Company with $250K Monthly Pension for Life

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Gone are the days receiving only a shiny, gold watch when you retire. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson inked a lucrative retirement deal that’ll see the executive obtain a pension worth $64 million, reports Marketwatch.

Broken down, this pension ensures the executive will earn $250K per month for the rest of his life.

And yes, you read that correctly, that is $250K per month, not per year. This is actually a pay cut for the CEO who has earned, on average, $30 million per year for the past three years.

According to an Institute for Policy Studies report, this is the average pension for a high-profile CEO. Some CEOs, like Glenn Renwick of Progressive, get a lot more. When he retired in 2016, Renwick’s package was estimated to top $194 million.

Stephenson’s lucrative retirement plan comes at a time when the world’s economy is in crisis due to the coronavirus. Businesses are closing, and employees are being laid off. Unemployment climbed to 14.7 percent in April 2020, the highest it has been since the great depression.

At the same time Stephenson is planning to retire, the company reported significant losses in the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus. AT&T’s revenue dropped $600 million, and its earnings fell $430 million. Hardest hit was WarnerMedia, which halted the production and release of new movies, television shows and other media content. The company also saw declines in handset sales and TV subscriptions.

Because of uncertainty due to the global coronavirus pandemic, AT&T, like most companies, did not give guidance for its future earnings. When asked about possible layoffs, the CEO didn’t confirm, nor deny, but warned investors that the company is “sizing our operations to economic activity.”

Stephenson will cede control of the company on July 1st with AT&T president and COO John Stankey ready to take his place. Stephenson will continue to serve the AT&T board of directors as its executive chairman until January 2021.

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