Not much risk here…

February 27, 2004

Hawking cell phones these past few years was kind of like selling ice cream cones on a steamy August day: everyone wanted one. So it was a bit of an odd disclosure in Bell South’s (BLS) recent proxy and 10-K about the deal they struck with former Cingular Chief Operating Officer Mark Feidler. Before joining Cingular, Feidler had been head of BellSouth’s wireless services. To get him to take the job, BellSouth says it had to incent Feidler “to take the risk of resigning from BellSouth to join this new entity” as if it was a far-flung biotech start-up. The agreement required him to stay at Cingular through the end of 2003, which he did, when he resigned to become BellSouth’s Chief Staff Officer beginning Jan. 1. Amazingly enough, the risk paid off: BellSouth recently paid him $12.5 million.

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