The two top executives at troubled FairPoint Communications customers received performance-based bonuses recently at roughly the same time that the company was being lambasted over its poorly-executed system cutover in New England. Fair Point's poor response to cutover problems related to the operational transition of former Verizon landline properties drew the ire of customers and regulators alike, but two company execs were still given more than $100,000 in bonuses.
FairPoint Chairman and CEO Gene Johnson received an $83,862 bonus and a 30 percent raise in 2008, according to an SEC filing, while FairPoint President Peter Nixon accepted a $50,000 bonus. Other executives also were reported to have received raises.
The bonuses appeared to be directly connected to the acquisition itself, and Johnson reportedly made less in compensation for 2008 than he did in 2007. However, this still won't sit well with FairPoint customers who were affected by the cutover problems, or New England regulators and consumer groups who were worried about the FairPoint acquisition from Day One.
Meanwhile, FairPoint reported first-quarter earnings that included a sequential slide in revenue to about $311.6 million, from more than $319 million during the previous quarter. The company's total number of access lines in the first quarter of 2009 was about 8.8 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2008, though this figure is in line or only slightly above average line loss among independent telcos.
The blame for FairPoint's transition problems is spreading
FairPoint had hoped for normal operations by next month