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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, June 3, 2008

HawTel CEO to get $1.05M for first year

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Eric Yeaman

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Hawaiian Telcom Inc.'s new chief executive officer, Eric Yeaman, will receive $600,000 in annual base salary plus a $450,000 minimum bonus payable at the end of this year.

But Yeaman, who takes over as Hawaiian Telcom's CEO this month, will be eligible for a maximum of $1.2 million in annual bonuses in addition to his base salary if the company hits certain financial goals, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yeaman's compensation at Hawaiian Telcom is an increase from the $632,235 he earned last year as Hawaiian Electric Co.'s senior executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Yeaman's compensation package is similar to that of his predecessor, Michael Ruley, and well below the $2.3 million average paid last year to the CEOs of Hawai'i's largest publicly traded companies.

SEC filings show Hawaiian Telcom paid Ruley $875,692 in 2007 and more than $1.1 million in 2006.

Hawaiian Telcom declined comment beyond its SEC filing.

Founded in 1883, Hawaiian Telcom is the state's largest telephone company with about 1,500 employees.

The company is owned by the Carlyle Group, the Washington, D.C., private equity firm that acquired the local phone company from Verizon Communications Inc. in 2005 for $1.6 billion.

While Yeaman's bonus is set for this year, there's no guarantee that he will receive a similar future bonus.

According to the SEC filing, the 40-year-old Yeaman's future bonuses are pegged to the company's performance.

Since Carlyle's 2005 takeover, Hawaiian Telcom has lost more than $200 million. Last month, the company reported a net loss of $40.1 million for the first quarter, reversing a $15.5 million net profit in the year-earlier period.

Reach Rick Daysog at rdaysog@honoluluadvertiser.com.