Qwest Shareholders Vote Down Executive Compensation Proposals

May 24, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Shareholders of Qwest Communications Inc. shot down three proposals that would have given them more weight on decisions concerning executive compensation, including a non-binding vote on compensation packages, the Associated Press reported.

The three defeated measures on the table at the Denver-based company’s annual meeting were:

  • A non-binding shareholder vote on executive compensation packages, in which 67% of shareholders voted down the non-binding vote proposal, 20% voted for it, and 14% abstained.
  • A measure that would have required the board to establish a policy that required at least 75% of future equity compensation for senior executives to be based on performance, which was tossed out in an 82% to 17% vote.
  • A proposal that would have given shareholders the authority to approve supplemental executive retirement plans or some benefits under the company’s non-qualified pension plan, which was defeated 68% to 32%.

The measures were sponsored by Qwest retirees and the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees Pension Plan.

There have been similar “say for pay” measures proposed by shareholders at other large U.S. companies. A resolution brought by investors at Verizon Communications Inc. at the beginning of May garnered nearly the same amount of “for” votes as it did “against” votes (See Close Call in Verizon Shareholder Executive Pay Vote ).

Proposals to give the shareholders at Morgan Stanley and The Bank of New York more influence in terms of executive compensation didn’t gain enough shareholder support in April, when 37% of Morgan Stanley investors and 47.3% of BNY investors supported the measures (See  Shareholders Say Nay To Pay Say ).