shareholders weigh policy changes
Retirees and a union put forward four proposals to be voted
on at the annual shareholders meeting. The telecom urges
"no" for all.
By Beth Potter, Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Retirees of US West and a union want the Baby Bell to change
its corporate governance policies at Qwest's annual
shareholders meeting scheduled today.
Shareholders will vote on four proposals from the two groups
regarding executive retirement benefits, performance-based
pay, separation of chairman and chief-executive roles and a
requirement to have directors elected to the board by a
Qwest's proxy statement for the annual meeting recommends
that shareholders vote against the four proposals.
About 40 retiree shareholders are expected to attend the
company meeting slated for the Denver Performing Arts
Complex in downtown Denver, said Nelson Phelps, executive
director for the Association of US West Retirees.
The most important, although largely symbolic, issue to
retirees is their belief that Qwest should try to recover
performance-based pay previously given to executives if it
was received based on fraudulent financial results, Phelps
Former chief executive Joe Nacchio netted more than $216
million through stock sales, bonuses and other perks in 2000
and 2001, a period for which Qwest later was forced to
restate losses of $2.5 billion, according to a federal
Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
"This captures what happened under Nacchio and company,"
"We don't think it's right. It impacts share owners."
Members of the the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees union want Qwest directors to be voted
in by a majority, making them more accountable to
shareholders. Currently, directors need only a plurality of
The measure targeted company founder Philip Anschutz, before
he said earlier this year he would not stand for re-election
to the board, said Richard Ferlauto, a spokesman for the
union. Cannon Harvey, president and chief operating officer
of the Anschutz Co. and Anschutz Corp., also said he would
not stand for re-election.
"If (Anschutz) hadn't voluntarily decided to retire from the
board, there was no alternative for shareholders to force
him off," Ferlauto said.
Staff writer Beth Potter
can be reached at 303-820-1503 or