Risk & Compliance

Verizon Pay Proposal Too Close to Call

Vote on the ''say on pay'' resolution goes to a recount.
Stephen Taub and Dave CookMay 4, 2007

Verizon may become the first company where shareholders approve a measure requiring an advisory vote on executive compensation.

Results of the resolution, which was put to a vote at Verizon’s annual meeting on Thursday, were “too close to determine” the outcome, according to a company statement. A press release from the Association of BellTel Retirees, which sponsored the nonbinding resolution, reported that voters split, 49 percent for and 49 percent against.

The votes will be recounted and the final results will be available within two weeks, reported The New York Times. A number of neutral observers cited in published accounts believe the final tally will tip in favor of passage.

The “say on pay” movement has attracted dozens of similar proposals this proxy season. The measure received 47 percent support at the annual meeting of Bank of New York, 43 percent at Citi, and 37 percent at Morgan Stanley.

At Verizon’s meeting, two other shareholder resolutions fared well but did not pass. According to the company, about 47 percent of voters supported shareholder approval of future severance agreements, and 47 percent supported disclosure of the identity of the company’s compensation consultant. Only 9 percent supported eliminating stock options.