John Legere’s 2018 compensation made him one of corporate America’s top-paid executives last year.


Photo:

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere’s 2018 compensation jumped to $66.5 million after the cellphone carrier granted him and other executives a large stock-based award tied to its pending merger with rival

Sprint
Corp.


S -1.25%

Mr. Legere’s total compensation more than doubled from $23.6 million in 2017. His pay last year included a $1.9 million salary and $58.5 million worth of stock units, most of which were tied to the merger.

T-Mobile gave similar stock-based incentives to other executives, including Chief Operating Officer Michael Sievert and technology chief Neville Ray. The awards would pay out immediately if the companies complete their merger. They would vest at a later date if the deal fails to close.

The company said in a regulatory filing that the one-time awards reflected “the immense regulatory and advocacy work associated with a merger of this size and in this industry and related business planning activities.”

Mr. Legere’s 2018 compensation made him one of corporate America’s top-paid executives last year, easily topping leaders at rival carriers

AT&T
Inc.

and

Verizon Communications
Inc.

A footnote in the filing showed Mr. Legere could earn more stock if the company meets certain performance thresholds, bringing the value of his stock award to as much as $109 million.

T-Mobile revealed its plans a year ago to acquire Sprint through a more than $26 billion all-stock merger. The deal would combine the country’s No. 3 and No. 4 national cellphone carriers into one company led by Mr. Legere and other T-Mobile executives.

Government antitrust authorities at the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission continue to review the transaction.

Write to Drew FitzGerald at andrew.fitzgerald@wsj.com

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