WASHINGTON, May 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, a historic executive pay reform proposal from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Fund became the first of its kind to receive a majority of the shares cast at a publically-traded company's annual meeting of shareholders.
The ground-breaking shareholder proposal calls on the Gannett Company' [NYSE: GCI] board of directors to end the practice of accelerating the vesting of senior executives' equity awards in the event of a change-in-control.
Gannett announced at the meeting that more than 51 percent of the shares cast were in favor of the Teamsters shareholder proposal.
"It is very gratifying to know that investors increasingly share our fundamental belief that pay-for-performance is the best corporate governance practice," said Ken Hall, International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer. "We do not believe executives should receive a guaranteed windfall in the outcome of a change-of-control when receipt of such compensation could have very little to do with the executives' actual job performance."
Gannett's named executive officers, according to the company's proxy statement, would receive in a change-of-control situation a total of more than $109.3 million, more than $51 million of this compensation coming from fully vested equity. CEO Gracie Martore's fully vested equity is valued at over $25.5 million.
The Teamsters favor a pro rata vesting standard wherein executive's equity awards would vest as a percentage of the performance achieved up to the termination for performance based awards and as a percentage of time spent on the job up to the termination for time vesting stock options.
"We are unpersuaded by the argument that executives somehow 'deserve' to receive unvested awards especially when they are already guaranteed generous post-employment benefits," Hall said. "Other Gannett employees have been asked to make significant, economic sacrifices over the years."
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico including more than 1,000 workers at several Gannett owned media outlets. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "Like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters