Santa likes Lucent Honchos


Light Reading has a detailed analysis of the big packages some of the Lucent executives have received for their “good work” even as the company has cut back on retiree benefits such as health care.

Unsurprisingly, the company’s pensioners aren’t too happy about the size of the executive bonuses. A representative of the Lucent Retirees Organization told New Jersey newspaper The Star-Ledger that the vendor’s senior executives are getting bonuses that “most retirees feel is beyond reason, based on what has happened to the retiree benefits.”

Pat Russo, the chairwoman and CEO got $2.95 million in bonus in addition to $1.2 million in salary, and stock and options that total to about $9 million. Total package about $13.6 million. That’s more than twice what she got in 2003. Forbes adds that Chief Financial Officer Frank D’Amelio’s 2004 bundle was $6.7 million, up 31% from $5.1 million last year, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. This includes options to buy 1 million shares, which Lucent values at $1.8 million. That’s a whole different matter that “figure was boosted significantly by gains from Lucent’s pension plan,” adds Associated Press.

Total pension credits amounted to $1.11 billion, but Lucent has said a fairer figure to deduct from its 2004 profit would be $868 million, which reflects Lucent’s contributions to retiree health-care benefits.

In all fairness, Lucent stock is up 37% and the company reported its first profitable year in four years, thanks mostly to a brisk demand for wireless gear. Lucent is going to be a big winner of the ongoing consolidation in the wireless space. The company is seeking a reverse stock split to boost its share. The reverse split options are 1-for-5, 1-for-10, 1-for-15 or 1-for-20.

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