Sprint ( S) lost 4.5 million subscribers and swung to a $2.8 billion loss last year, but CEO Dan Hesse and four other top executives got bigger than targeted bonuses.

Hesse received a $1.2 million salary last year and a bonus of $2.65 million as part of a total compensation package of nearly $15.5 million. The bonus was roughly 30% greater than the bonus originally targeted. Four executives below Hesse exceeded their bonus targets, as well.

The rationale, according to a federal filing Monday, is that the company's performance exceeded four key goals: higher adjusted operating earnings, fewer consumer complaints, a slowdown in the rate of customer defections or churn and an increase in free cash flow. The base salaries did not increase for 2009.

Still, maybe the executives should have had their pay tied more to Sprint's stock performance last year, when Sprint shares fell 88%.

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