'Verizon shareholders claim executive pay
By Paul Taylor in New York
Published: May 4 2007 03:00 | Last updated: May 4 2007 03:00
Shareholder and union activists claimed victory yesterday when Verizon
Communications, the US telecommunications giant, acknowledged that a
shareholder vote on a non-binding proposal that would give investors a say
on executive compensation was too close to call.
Verizon said a preliminary count of the vote on the proposal - one of a
series tabled at the annual meeting yesterday - "approached 50 per cent" in
favour of the proposal and added that a final result would be announced in
the next few weeks.
But officials of the AFL-CIO, the US trade union confederation which had
backed the proposal, said last night that they believed it had passed with
49 per cent of the vote in favour, 49 per cent against and 2 per cent
The proposal, put forward by C. William Jones and the Association of BellTel
Retirees, called for shareholders to be consulted over the pay packages of
senior executives, including Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's chairman and chief
Some shareholders have complained about the size of his $21.3m 2006
compensation package, even though, as Verizon has pointed out, it was less
than counterparts at similar sized companies.
Mr Jones described the vote, regardless of the final outcome, as "a major
moral victory for shareowners and the retirees of this company".