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MCI chief to get $5 million bonus

Michael Capellas is being rewarded for his efforts to guide MCI out of bankruptcy and into the arms of Verizon. Or Qwest.

Michael Capellas, CEO of MCI, is getting a $5 million bonus for his performance in 2004, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday. The incentive bonus is in addition to his $1.5 million salary and $1.5 million bonus for 2004. The filing also said he will receive 357,241 shares of restricted stock in the company.

MCI's compensation committee approved the bonus based on "Capellas' outstanding accomplishments during 2004," which included guiding the company out of bankruptcy, getting it back on track financially, and moving the company back into the public markets. Capellas, who helped broker a merger between Compaq and Hewlett-Packard before his MCI stint, has also helped attract suitors for MCI. The company has already accepted a $6.7 billion offer from Verizon Communications, but is now currently in discussions with Qwest Communications about its bid for the company.