The 10 highest paid CEOs in wireline in 2015

best paid execs

The biggest telcos in the U.S. have all submitted their executive compensation summaries to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and FierceTelecom has dug up the data to compile a list of the top 10 highest paid CEOs in the wireline industry.

Just like in 20122013 and 2014, Verizon's Lowell McAdam and AT&T's Randall Stephenson ran away with the number one and two spots on the list.

Both McAdam and Stephenson saw their total compensation increase in 2015. But while Stephenson’s total climbed to $25.1 million – in line with last year’s pay increase from $23.2 million in 2013 to $24 million in 2014 – McAdam’s total compensation only rose to $18.34 million – well short of the boost he saw last year, going from $15.8 million in 2013 to $18.3 million in 2014.

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Glen Post, CEO of CenturyLink, who saw the largest increase during 2014 when his pay jumped to $13 million, up from $9 million in 2013, saw his total compensation sink back to $10.66 million. Post’s dip in compensation caused him to fall back from number three on our list last year to number four this year.

The new number three this year, Level 3 Communications CEO Jeff Storey, saw his total compensation for 2015 climb to about $12 million, significantly up from the $10.85 million he made in 2014.

Elsewhere on the list, both Frontier CEO Dan McCarthy and Windstream CEO Tony Thomas saw their total compensation rise substantially, with McCarthy’s up from $2.9 million in 2014 to $5.1 million in 2015, and Thomas’ up from $3.3 million in 2014 to $4.4 million in 2015. The rest of the CEOs on our list also saw modest increases in total compensation but not enough to shake up the same order that appeared in last year’s top 10.

Check out the 10 highest-paid CEOs below. The data comes from filings the companies have made to the SEC.

P.S. Don't forget to check out similar lists from sister publications FierceWireless and FierceCable.

10. TDS Telecom CEO David Wittwer

David Wittwer

Total compensation (2014): $1,115,300
Total compensation (2013): $2,322,278 
Salary: $608,000
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $507,300
Duration with company: Since 1983

9. Consolidated Communications CEO Bob Udell

Bob Udell

Total Compensation (2014): $1,139,343
Total compensation (2013): $846,825
Salary: $377,423
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $761,920
Duration with company: Since 1993

8. FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu

Paul Sunu

Total compensation (2015): $2,727,610
Total compensation (2014): $1,928,820
Salary: $830,000
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $1,897,610
Duration with company: Since 2005

7. Cincinnati Bell CEO Ted Torbeck

Ted Torbeck

Total compensation (2015): $3,485,885
Total compensation (2014): $3,339,000
Salary: $775,000
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $2,710,885
Duration with company: Since 2010. Torbeck took over the CEO post from John Cassidy, who retired in 2013.

6. Windstream CEO Tony Thomas

Tony Thomas

Total compensation (2015): $4,411,117
Total compensation (2014): $3,367,476
Salary: $1,000,000
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $3,411,117
Duration with company: Since 1998

5. Frontier CEO Dan McCarthy

Dan McCarthy

Total compensation (2015): $5,118,891
Total compensation (2014): $2,972,783
Salary: $862,500
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $4,256,391
Duration with company: Since 1990

4. CenturyLink CEO Glen Post

Glen Post

Total compensation (2015): $10,664,511
Total compensation (2014): $13,131,448
Salary: $1,250,000
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $9,414,511
Duration with company: Since 1982

3. Level 3 Communications CEO Jeff Storey

Jeff Storey

Total compensation (2015): $11,999,523
Total compensation (2014): $10,850,861
Salary: $1,246,154
Other compensation (stock awards, bonuses, etc.): $10,753,369
Duration with company: Joined company in 2008 as COO and became CEO in April 2013.

2. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam

Lowell McAdam

Total compensation (2015): $18,343,660
Total compensation (2014): $18,306,509
Salary: $1,661,538
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $16,682,122
Duration with company: Since 2000 (inception of Verizon Wireless)

1. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Randall Stephenson

Total compensation (2015): $25,145,914
Total compensation (2014): $23,984,315
Salary: $1,741,667
Other compensation (stock awards, etc.): $23,404,247
Duration with company: Since 1982

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