EarthLink CEO Received Raise as Workers Laid Off

EarthLink Inc. gave its leader a 76 percent increase in his annual bonus last year, during which time the nation’s third-largest Internet Service Provider said it was cutting 1,300 jobs, a regulatory filing shows.

The Atlanta-based company paid chief executive Garry Betty a $346,790 bonus in 2003, compared to a bonus of $196,590 in 2002. His bonus in 2001 was $186,498.

A spokesman did not immediately have a comment Monday on Betty’s compensation.

In January 2003, EarthLink said it was cutting about 25 percent of its work force because of increased competition. At the time, EarthLink had 5,100 employees.

This past January, EarthLink announced it was cutting another 1,300 jobs, which at the time represented 40 percent of its remaining work force. The company said 2,000 employees would remain after the latest round of cuts.

Betty’s bonus last year was on top of $621,154 in salary he received.

Five other top EarthLink executives each received bonuses of more than $100,000 last year and salary of at least $250,000, the proxy says. In chief financial officer Lee Adrean’s case, he delayed receipt of half of his $170,264 bonus in accordance with a company deferred compensation program.

EarthLink’s annual meeting is May 25 in Atlanta.

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