to propose changes in executive stock policies
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Qwest Communications is responding to pressure
from its third largest shareholder and will recommend changes to
the way it gives stock to its executives. But the
recommendations will be made to the board of directors later
this year, not in time for this morning's annual shareholders
meeting at the downtown Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Qwest said it will recommend that restricted stock and other
equity awards have vesting periods of at least three years, in
response to concerns by Fidelity Management and Research Corp.
Another recommendation would link executive awards to at least
one year's performance. Restrictions could be waived in the
case of a change of company control, retirement, disability or
"Basically, there was a particular shareholder that expressed
concerns, and we listen to our shareholders, and this letter was
our response to their concerns," Qwest spokeswoman Diane
Reberger said. She said the recommendations will be made to the
board's compensation committee later this year.
Fidelity is Qwest's third largest institutional stockholder with
194 million shares, or 10.5 percent, as of March 31, according
to a regulatory filing. That was down 40 million shares from
The Denver telco has been criticized by other shareholder
groups, including retirees, for its executive pay policies.
Qwest is fighting proposals that would give shareholders more
oversight on executive pay and retirement packages.
A shareholder advocate will be dressed up as a chicken today, as
part of a protest of Qwest's executive pay policies. The
Association of U S West Retirees said some members will be
carrying signs with messages such as: "Stop Runaway CEO Pay -
Give Shareholders a Say."
smithje@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-954-5155