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Qwest pays Notebaert $25 million
Stock awards form bulk of '06 package
By James Paton
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, March 30, 2007

Qwest Chief Executive Dick Notebaert received nearly $25 million in compensation last year, the company said Thursday.  Notebaert was paid a salary of $1.1 million and got another $4.1 million under a bonus plan, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The stock and option awards he received in 2006 had a value of $16.7 million on the day they were granted, the proxy showed.

Other compensation for the Denver-based company's top officer included about $332,000 for personal use of a corporate jet, $62,200 for financial and tax consulting services, and $55,900 for a personal assistant and office expenses, the company said.

Qwest paid for Notebaert's business club membership and legal fees related to compensation agreements, and also compensated him to have his wife attend company-sponsored events.

Referring to some of the extra goodies, Qwest explained, "Mr. Notebaert individually negotiated these additional perquisites when we hired him in 2002, and we believe these benefits were important factors in enabling us to attract Mr. Notebaert to Qwest.

"In addition, we believe benefits such as financial planning and an executive assistant give Mr. Notebaert more time to focus on our business," according to the proxy.

An increase in his pension came to $2.2 million, according to the proxy for last year.

In figuring out Notebaert's pay, the compensation committee of the Qwest board considered that the company "exceeded cash flow and net income targets," recorded its "first year of profitability without a transaction and continued to strengthen" the balance sheet, the proxy showed.

Increased customer service ratings and progress in resolving legal issues were other factors cited by the committee.

In 2005, Notebaert got $14.8 million, including salary, bonus, other compensation, restricted stock awards and option grants.

patonj@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-954-2544

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/other_business/article/0,2777,DRMN_23916_5452504,00.html