The Association of U S West Retirees



Qwest gives execs stock awards
CEO gets $8.4 million out of total $17 million
By David Milstead
Rocky Mountain News 
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Qwest has given five of its top executives stock awards valued at nearly $17 million.

The annual awards include stock options, restricted stock and new "performance shares."  All the awards can gain or lose value based on how Qwest stock does over the next few years.

CEO Ed Mueller received awards valued at $8.4 million, with half coming in the form of stock options and the remainder split between restricted stock and performance shares.

The remaining executives -- John Richardson, Richard Baer, Paula Kruger and Thomas E. Richards -- received awards with values ranging from $1.92 million to $2.54 million.

The "performance share" program is new.

It calls for the executives to receive their shares in two or three years.  Qwest will measure the performance of its stock over the 60 trading days before the end of the period.

If it outperforms a peer group of telcos, the executives can get up to 200 percent of the original value of the award.  If Qwest performs the same as its peers, the executives get the full award.  Executives get nothing only if Qwest underperforms its peers by 20 percent or more.