May 8, 2012 / 4:31 AM / 7 years ago

Ontario Teachers to oppose Sprint CEO Hesse's re-election

(Reuters) - The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of Sprint Nextel Corp’s (S.N) key investors with about a 4 percent stake, will set a precedent by voting against Chief Executive Dan Hesse’s re-election to Sprint’s board.

Deborah Allen, a spokeswoman for the fund, told Reuters this is the first time it has opposed the re-election of any Sprint director and was taking the action because of the “poor linkages” between company performance and senior management pay.

Hesse has come under fire this year from shareholders disappointed with the hit the company’s results took from subsidizing Apple’s (AAPL.O) popular iPhones and other investments.

On May 4, Hesse said he would take a pay cut, but the fund believes the cut is not sufficient to deal with the scale of Sprint’s problems.

“We view Hesse’s reduction in compensation as only partially alleviating our concerns. We therefore do not support his re-election to the board,” the fund said on its website.

Hesse said his total pay cut would amount to about $3.25 million after forfeiting $346,000 already received for 2012.

Officials with Sprint could not be reached for comment outside of regular U.S. business hours.

The Wall Street Journal earlier quoted a Sprint spokesman as saying the fund’s position is a “minority view” with which Sprint does not agree.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Matt Driskill

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