ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) has announced preliminary results of the shareholder vote at its annual meeting here today.
The company reported that Verizon’s shareholders elected each of Verizon’s 13 directors to a one-year term, with Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam receiving over 95 percent of the vote, and ratified the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm. The shareholders overwhelmingly approved the compensation of the company’s executive officers as described in the 2016 proxy statement, with over 92 percent of the vote.
Despite recent assertions from unions that the company’s major shareholders were calling for change, all six of this year’s shareholders proposals were defeated.
A proposal regarding an enhanced executive stock retention policy from the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Pension Benefit Fund was soundly defeated with only approximately 7.4 percent of shareholders voting in favor. A proposal from a member of the Association of BellTel Retirees to expand the company’s current severance approval policy was defeated for the fourth consecutive year, with approximately 31.3 percent of the vote for and 68.7 percent of the vote against.
A proposal from Kenneth Steiner -- presented at the meeting by a representative of the Communications Workers of America -- requiring an independent chairman of the board was also defeated, with approximately 23.5 percent of the vote for and 76.5 percent against.
The remaining three shareholder proposals were defeated as follows:
- Renewable energy targets: Defeated, with approximately 8.4 percent of the vote for and 91.6 percent of the vote against.
- Indirect political spending report: Defeated, with approximately 30.1 percent of the vote for and 69.9 percent of the vote against.
- Lobbying activities report: Defeated, with approximately 33.9 percent of the vote for and 66.1 percent of the vote against.
Vote tallies are considered preliminary until the final results are tabulated and certified by independent election inspectors. The final results will be posted on Verizon’s website at www.verizon.com.