Former MCI Executive Paid $8.1 Million Severance for Seven-Month Tenure

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Hall of Shame At a time when MCI Inc. is projecting a 23 percent revenue decline for this year and plans to trim its total staff by 15 percent, a filing this week showed that a top executive who spent just seven months at the company will be paid $8.1 million in severance.

The Ashburn, VA-based long-distance company, recently known as WorldCom, disclosed the severance agreement with former president and chief operating officer Richard R. Roscitt in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Washington Post reported.

Roscitt, who was formerly an executive with AT&T, joined MCI in August of last year and left in March, having served the company in the midst of its 21-months in bankruptcy.

Roscitt's employment contract dictates that he will be paid $8.1 million and a $450,000 bonus tied to his performance during his seven-month tenure, the Post reported. In addition, he will receive pay for four weeks of vacation he is owed as well "secretarial support, continuation of Internet access, and reimbursement of fees for cellular phone service for up to six months," the Post reported, adding he will also get a computer for use at home.

MCI defends the package, saying it was approved by the federal bankruptcy court and also by a court-appointed corporate monitor. "It's certainly not uncommon for companies, especially companies going through challenging times, to offer attractive employment agreements to lure talent," MCI spokesman Brad Burns, told the Post.

Roscitt's position was eliminated earlier this year when MCI chief executive Michael D. Capellas assumed Roscitt's title of president, the Post reported.

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