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New Verizon CEO got $16 million pay raise in 2011

Verizon chief Lowell McAdam saw his compensation more than triple after being named CEO last August.

According to a definitive Proxy Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, McAdam received a total compensation package worth $23.1 million that included a $1.4 million salary, $18.75 million in stock awards and $2.36 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation. In 2010, when he was still working as Verizon's Chief Operating Officer, McAdam received a total compensation package of nearly $7.2 million that included a $913,000 base salary, $4.3 million in stock awards and $1.74 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation.

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McAdam's increased compensation is largely in line with the compensation received by outgoing CEO Ivan Seidenberg in 2011. In his last year on the job, Seidenberg received a compensation package of $26.5 million that included a $2.1 million salary, $19.5 million in stock awards and $3.5 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation. McAdam's compensation is also slightly more than the $22 million compensation package received by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in 2011.

McAdam received his big pay raise at a time when he was publicly arguing that workers in Verizon's unionized wireline business segment needed to accept benefit cuts in order for the business to remain competitive. Verizon's attempts to implement benefit cuts resulted in 45,000 Verizon workers briefly striking last summer in protest. During the strike, McAdam wrote a letter to AT&T's management emphasizing the need for sacrifice on the part of wireline workers.

"It is clear that some of the existing contract provisions, negotiated initially when Verizon was under far less competitive pressure, are not in line with the economic realities of business today," he wrote. "As the U.S. automobile industry found out a few years ago, failure to make needed adjustments -- when the need for change is obvious -- can be catastrophic."

In 2010, the top five tech CEOs in the United States earned an average compensation of $42.42 million. Oracle's Larry Ellison topped all tech CEOs with a $70.1 million pay package, followed by Apple CEO Tim Cook ($59.1 million), outgoing IBM chief Sam Palmisano ($31.7 million) and AT&T's Stephenson.

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