Good news for the future but this will not get back the "ill gotten gains"
of the Nacchio era...
Donnetta
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Qwest OKs recouping bonuses
The policy covers periods that lead to restatements but is not retroactive to the most recent one.
By Tom McGhee, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Thursday, January 27, 2005

Qwest can take legal action to recover bonuses paid to executives who serve during periods that lead to financial restatements under a new policy, officials said Wednesday.

But the policy isn't retroactive and will not give the company the right to try to reclaim the millions of dollars in bonuses paid out to former chief executive Joe Nacchio and others during a period that led to $2.5 billion in restatements.

Qwest's board recently approved the policy, said Qwest spokesman Steve Hammack. He said he couldn't comment on why the change wasn't made retroactively.

The policy requires the board to review all bonuses and other performance-based compensation made during a period that is later restated, and take legal action to reclaim the compensation.

The policy closely mirrors one proposed by a trio of shareholders who want the company to bring their proposal before shareholders for a vote at the company's upcoming annual meeting.

But Qwest has told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it doesn't plan to bring the shareholders' proposal up for a vote.

The company expects to have substantially implemented the new plan by the time of the meeting. The company hasn't yet announced a date for the gathering, but it is expected to be held about the same time as last year's event, which was May 25.

The SEC must approve Qwest's plan not to include the shareholders' proposal in its proxy.

Nelson Phelps, president of the Association of US West Retirees, said his group has consulted its lawyer to determine if the board action will accomplish the aims of the shareholders' proposal. Qwest completed its merger with US West in 2000.

"All we are trying to do is put the finger in the dike for the future,"
Phelps said.

Staff writer Tom McGhee can be reached at 303-820-1671 or tmcghee@denverpost.com.