"Retirees of Verizon have a significant vested interest in Verizon and we want to see it do well," said C. William Jones, president and founder of the retiree association. "The fact is 90% of the Association of BellTel Retirees' members are Verizon customers and 72% are shareowners, many us supported the company via stock purchases in our working years and have long had grave concerns about management excesses."
He continued, "The BellTel Retirees have demonstrated over and over again that a group of small but very engaged shareholders can reshape the compensation and governance policies of a corporate giant in a manner that benefits all company owners."
Past Successful BellTel Retiree Proxy Campaigns
1. 2013 VZ board agreed to partially adopt a retiree proposal tightening standards for awarding Performance Share Payouts to senior executives when Verizon's performance is below the median compared to its Dow Jones peer index;
2. 2007 "Say on Pay" Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation - Retirees win with 50.18% of the vote, effective for 2009;
3. 2007 Corporate Governance Guidelines - The Board partially adopted a retiree proxy limiting the number of boards a Verizon director can serve on. A director who is an executive officer of a public company is limited to three public company boards; other directors are limited to six company boards.
4. 2006 Performance Based Equity Compensation - Retiree proxy asked that at least 75% of future senior executive equity compensation be performance-based.
5. 2005 Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (SERP) - The Verizon board agreed to rein in senior executive SERP. Previous SERP contributions were 32% of combined salary plus bonus for every dollar above $210,000 of salary. The old SERP was frozen and the new contribution level reduced from 32% down to the rank-and-file level of 4% to 7%.
6. 2005 Board Composition - Revised guidelines to reduce the Verizon board headcount from 21 to 12 or fewer members. Further, over time Verizon agreed to align the board to meet the Association's proxy definition of an "independent" board.
7. 2004 Binding Executive Severance - Following the board's failure to implement the 2003 proxy mandated by shareowners, the Association proposed a new binding proxy causing the Verizon board to agree to adopt the requirement of a shareholder vote to approve large new severance packages.
8. 2003 Exclude Pension Credits (Phantom Earnings) from Calculation of Executive Compensation - Verizon's board agreed to stop using Shadow Profits to enhance senior executive bonuses after retirees receive over 40% vote in previous year balloting.
9. 2003 Executive Severance - Retirees receive 59% yes vote. The change limits overly generous golden parachutes and requires shareholder approval for packages over the limit. It is the first time an outsider proxy opposed by the company board wins at a Bell System/former Bell company.
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