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For reports of the article's referenced vote on a similar proposal submitted to Verizon shareholders, see

For additional information about the Forum's project relating to the development of a model for advisory voting on executive compensation policies, see

Advisory Voting


Dow Jones Newswires, May 23, 2007 article


The Wall Street Journal  

May 23, 2007 12:45 p.m. EDT


Qwest Shareholders Defeat Say-On-Pay Proposal >Q

May 23, 2007 12:45 p.m.

   By Roger Cheng 

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) shareholders on Wednesday handily voted down a proposal that would've given them more influence over how top managers are paid.

After a preliminary count, the Denver telecommunications company said that only 20% of votes cast supported the proposal.

The so-called "so-on-pay" measure has been a hot topic at annual shareholder meetings. Fellow Bell Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) said Friday that its shareholders had approved a similar proposal. The non-binding policy would've given shareholders an advisory vote on executive compensation, although companies aren't required to implement it.

A cadre of activist shareholders, institutional investors, and state and union pension funds have pushed the measure to a large number of companies. As a result, it's enjoyed surprisingly rapid acceptance for a proposal not supported by management.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees proposed the measure to Qwest. It also had the backing the Association of U.S. West Retirees, which represents more than 40,000 Qwest retirees and surviving spouses.

In addition, proxy-advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. supported the proposal, while rival firm Proxy Governance sided with management's recommendation to reject it.

Shareholders also defeated proposals to more closely tie executive equity compensation to performance and separate the chief executive and chairman roles.

-By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2020;

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