Rank-and-file workers at Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) will continue to see pink slips this year and even though most should receive severance packages, retired president and COO Denny Strigl’s got the best one.
In its preliminary proxy statement to shareholders, filed on Feb. 23 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Verizon revealed it plans to pay Strigl $18.55 million later this year. The so-called “separation benefits” include life insurance, financial planning and telecommunications and outplacement services.
Strigl retired on Dec. 31, 2009. He oversaw Verizon operations since 2007, after moving over from Verizon Wireless. He was a key player in the MCI takeover, among other mergers, and one of the people who steered Verizon away from a wireline focus and more toward fiber-optic and wireless products. Strigl worked in the telecom industry for more than 41 years.
Verizon expects to pay Strigl the $18.55 million around July 1. The announcement comes as the New York-based provider prepares to cut about 13,000 jobs this year. The company lost $653 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 and is getting rid of more employees in the fixed-line unit. Verizon blames slower sales for the pending slashing and burning, even though overall revenue actually rose 9.9 percent to $27.1 billion. However, in the landline division, sales did fall 3.9 percent as high unemployment hit Verizon’s FiOS TV and Internet expansion efforts hard.