Verizon will deign to consider an advisory vote on executive compensation from shareholders starting in 2009. Shareholders demanded the right to vote on executive pay at last year’s annual meeting. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg’s salary increased 11% last year to $21,309,264. Seidenberg’s salary has risen consistently, unlike Verizon’s profits.
“C. William Jones, executive director of the BellTel Retirees, said he was delighted with the board’s decision. “I’m somewhat puzzled as to why they are delaying it till the 2009 meeting, but it certainly is a step in the right direction,” Mr. Jones said.”
“James F. Reda, an independent executive pay consultant in New York City, said most United States and foreign investors he talks to favor say on pay proposals. “I don’t really see any investors who don’t like them,” he said. “But most directors hate say on pay because it undermines them.”
The shareholder vote is only advisory, meaning that it can be easily ignored by compensation-happy company directors.