Qwest drops perk for execs
The payouts to cover unreported expenses were eliminated
following complaints by a shareholder.
By Andy Vuong
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Qwest has eliminated a perk in which top executives were given
tens of thousands of dollars a year to cover unreported
expenses, the company disclosed in a filing Friday.
A shareholder slammed the perk at the company's annual meeting
in May, calling it "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" compensation.
Qwest spokeswoman Diane Reberger said the company eliminated the
payout "to simplify our executive compensation structure and to
provide shareholders more transparency."
Chief executive Ed Mueller received the largest allowance,
$75,000, paid at the beginning of the year to cover expenses
such as financial counseling, physical exams and club
memberships. Mueller and four other executives who
received the perk did not have to report how they used it.
"It's a small win on our parts as shareowners," said Qwest
retiree Nelson Phelps.
The company also revealed in the regulatory filing that it has
extended by a year the deadline for when chief financial officer
Joseph Euteneuer can request that Qwest buy his former principal
residence in Washington, D.C.
The deadline had been next month and was included in Euteneuer's
employment contract when he joined the company in September
Qwest bought Mueller's home shortly after he joined in August
2007 and sold it for a $1.8 million loss.
Also Friday, the company announced that former McDonald's chief
operating officer Michael J. Roberts has joined Qwest's board of
directors as its 13th member. Roberts fills a seat vacated
by Frank Popoff, a longtime board member who didn't seek
re-election this year.
Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209 or