Execs Cash in Stock Options
The Associated Press
Friday, November 10, 2006
DENVER -- Three Qwest Communications International Inc.
executives made more than $43 million by cashing in stock
options, according to regulatory filings this week.
Chief Executive Dick Notebaert made a profit of $18.4
million and Chief Financial Officer Oren Shaffer had a
profit of $18.5 million, according to a Securities and
Exchange Commission filing Thursday.
Chief Legal Officer Rich Baer made a $6.4 million profit,
according to SEC documents filed earlier this week.
Notebaert plans to donate his after-tax proceeds to
charities, Qwest spokesman Nicholas Sweers said. Sweers did
not identify the charities.
Shaffer and Baer have not revealed any plans for their
The sales were disclosed about a month after Philip
Anschutz, Qwest's founder and largest shareholder,
contracted to sell 80 million shares through 2010.
Together, the sales are "not a good sign for existing
shareholders," Janco Partners telecom analyst Donna Jaegers
told The Denver Post in Friday's editions. "Those are
sizable chunks of what they own."
Sweers said the executives still have substantial stock
options they have not sold. With Qwest share prices up by
more than 80 percent year-over-year, "All shareholders have
been rewarded by the company's financial and operational
performance," Sweers said.
Qwest has announced plans to buy back up to $2 billion worth
of its stock over two years.
Qwest shares fell 22 cents to close at $8.23 on the New York
Notebaert's planned donations prompted Curtis Kennedy, an
attorney for Qwest retirees, to quip that Notebaert should
consider contributing to the retirees association. The group
"is nonprofit and serving the interests of tens of thousands
of soon-to-be-impoverished retirees," he told the Rocky
Mountain News in Friday's editions.
Qwest retirees are unhappy about planned changes in their
benefits. Company spokesman Bob Toevs said Friday Qwest
planned to cap its contribution to health insurance premiums
for some retirees and reduce life-insurance benefits for all
"While this is always a difficult decision and not one we
take lightly, Qwest constantly has to evaluate market
conditions and costs and adjust (benefits) according," Toevs
Denver-based Qwest is the primary phone service provider in
14 Midwestern and Western states.