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T-Mobile's outspoken CEO outearns Verizon, AT&T chiefs

T-Mobile and Sprint may be the underdogs in the wireless market, but when it comes compensating their chief executives, the carriers manage to beat AT&T and Verizon.

Sarah Tew/CNET

T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere's brash and bold statements against his competitors translated to more money in his own pocket last year.

Legere, who has continued to tout T-Mobile's innovation while taking aim at Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint, earned $29.2 million in total compensation in 2013, according to a filing Thursday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam earned $23.2 million and $15.8 million, respectively, according SEC documents.

Only Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was able to outpace Legere for compensation last year. He earned $49.1 million in 2013, according an SEC filing, due mainly to Softbank's $21.6 billion acquisition of Sprint last year.

Legere is easily the most outspoken executive in the wireless industry, constantly criticizing his competitors and claiming that T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier in the US, can provide a better all-around service to customers.

In an attempt to prove that point, Legere earlier this month unveiled three changes to his company's service lineup. Legere announced a $40 for customers who don't need a lot of data. He also announced cheaper pricing on tablets to go along with free data and plans to eliminate overage charges.

Despite Legere's best attempts to put pressure on AT&T, the second-largest wireless provider in the US after Verizon, it seems Legere's efforts haven't been going all that well. AT&T on Tuesday announced a $3.7 billion quarterly profit and added over 1 million wireless customers during the period. AT&T also attempted to take T-Mobile, and Legere, down a notch. The carrier initially offered $200 for any T-Mobile customers willing to switch and then offered a more competitive family plan. AT&T also tweaked the price of its 2GB mobile share value plan, dropping the price by $15.

CNET has contacted T-Mobile for comment on Legere's compensation. We will update this story when we have more information.

T-Mobile shares are down 1.3 percent, or 37 cents, to $29.01 in early trading on Friday.

(Via Bloomberg)