The Association of U S West Retirees



Qwest VP exercises stock options
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Retiring Qwest Executive Vice President Barry Allen, who sold $6 million of stock last year, netted an additional $5.4 million by exercising his remaining vested stock options, according to a regulatory filing late Friday.  "It's part of his overall compensation program," Qwest spokeswoman Diane Reberger said Monday.  "Because he's retiring at the end of the month, he has a limited amount of time (90 days after his June 29 retirement date) to exercise these options."

Reberger noted Allen "left on the table" 350,250 unvested restricted shares valued at $3.4 million, and 639,000 unvested options worth $1.35 million, based on Friday's closing price.

In addition, Allen owns 100,000 Qwest shares he bought shortly after joining the Denver telco in the summer of 2002, 37,000 shares from a restricted stock award, and 4,000 shares from the employees 401(k) retirement program, she said.

Allen is one of three top executives who have left or are in the process of leaving  Qwest.  CEO Dick Notebaert announced his retirement last week, rattling investors, but will stay until his successor is named.  Former Chief Financial Officer Oren Shaffer retired earlier this year.

Some shareholder groups and watchdogs have been critical of the compensation the three received at Qwest.  Notebaert, for example, earned $104 million during his five-year tenure, including unrealized stock profits.

The three also received extra pension benefits for their time at Ameritech, where they previously worked and became friends.  For Allen, the Ameritech credit added 23.8 years to his service time and $2.9 million to the estimated $3.9 million Qwest pension.

Qwest has defended the compensation packages as necessary to attract the three out of retirement at a time the company and the telecommunications industry faced hard times.

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