The Shareholder ForumTM


"Say on Pay" Proposals

Forum Home Page

"Say on Pay" Home Page

Program Reference


C. William Jones, whose comments are presented below, is President of  the Association of BellTel Retirees Inc. ("ABTR"), believed to be the world’s largest such organization with over 110,000 members who are retired employees of Verizon and its predecessor companies, and he also serves as Board Chairman of ProtectSeniors.Org.  He had been a member of the earlier Forum program's Panel that established the Advisory Voting Project in 2006, and represented the ABTR in its initiation of the related Forum program addressing Verizon compensation issues.

For links to the referenced draft and other comments, see



Comments of

C. William Jones

August 10, 2008


I have been reading all of the responses to your request for thoughts on executive compensation and say on pay.


Here is my non-technical position, and that which I think the ABTR board would agree with. We do not want to micro manage executive compensation. However, we do feel that shareowners should be able to register their pleasure or displeasure with executive compensation based upon the high- profile measures of success of the corporation.


The pitfall is that the less sophisticated investor would likely put the greatest emphasis on short-term goals and ignore the long term. That said the major shareholders (the 290 that hold almost 50% of the shares) should dig deep enough to understand and vote with a balanced view. This of course would probably cause Verizon to educate those investors as to what the longer term goals are, how they are progressing and what effect that they will have on future results. This would be a good thing.


As for the others, if Verizon is truly interested in receiving a "thumbs up," they will have to communicate with all shareholders in a manner easily understood.


The metrics that are used in the executive level incentive compensation are so complicated that very few would take the time to study them and, even if they did, most would not understand them. It seems to me that they are unnecessarily complicated - possible intentionally. It behooves the company to change that attitude if they are to win the hearts of average investors. If not, they project a superior attitude that they know best and the shareholders should trust them.


That attitude might fly if the stock price was at record high levels but we know that it needs to nearly double to achieve that lofty goal.


This is a very difficult time to get Verizon's attention, between acquisitions, union bargaining and romancing various municipalities to obtain approvals to install FiOS. Possibly, when the next annual meeting appears on their agenda the top officers might see the wisdom of working on shareholder understanding of their compensation.  





C. William Jones

President & Executive Director

Association of BellTel Retirees Inc.


Board Chairman






This Forum program is open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests relating to shareholder advisory voting on executive compensation, referred to by activists as "Say on Pay." As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the Forum's purpose is to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant is expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

The organization of this Forum program was supported by Sibson Consulting to address issues relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices, rather than investor decisions relating to only a single company. The Forum may therefore invite program support of several companies that can provide both expertise and examples of performance leadership relating to the issues being addressed.

Inquiries about this Forum program and requests to be included in its distribution list may be addressed to

The information provided to Forum participants is intended for their private reference, and permission has not been granted for the republishing of any copyrighted material. The material presented on this web site is the responsibility of Gary Lutin, as chairman of the Shareholder Forum.