CEO pay was a highly controversial topic during telecom's leanest years earlier this decade, as many telecom CEOs continued to collect multi-million salaries and bonuses even as their companies struggled and stock prices sank. And even as some of them left their firms in defeat, they walked away with astounding severance pay-outs.
Finding solutions has been difficult, since few CEOs would accept jobs that didn't reward high-risk and high-profile demands. But, starting in 2009, Verizon Communications will allow investors to weigh on the pay of CEO Ivan Seidenberg by submitting the issue to an advisory vote. The company also said it would do better to spell out the details of executive severance agreements.
It's hard to tell right now whether this vote will really matter or is just a consolation for sensitive investors. Either way, though, it's a step in the right direction to make CEO pay an upfront issue, rather than a boardroom secret investors only learn about as the checks are being cashed.
- The Washington Post has the story