Qwest Communications International Inc said it has eliminated tens of thousands of dollars of annual payments to cover expenses of its chief executive and other top officials.
In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the Denver-based phone company said it has ended annual flexible benefit payments that it has been awarding to Chief Executive Edward Mueller and its chief operating officer, chief financial officer and general counsel.
For 2009, the cash payment was $75,000 to Mueller and $50,000 to the other executives, according to the filing.
In its proxy filing in March, Qwest said it had made the cash payments in lieu of perquisites commonly paid to executives at other companies, and its executives could use them however they wish.
The changes come as lawmakers and investors pressure corporate America to revisit or change executive pay practices in the wake of a deep economic recession.
Qwest spokeswoman Diane Reberger said Mueller proposed changing the awards, and the change will help the company simplify its executive compensation structure.
The company also said it will give Chief Financial Officer Joseph Euteneuer an extra year to ask that it buy his former principal residence and reimburse him for moving costs.
Euteneuer joined Qwest on September 12, 2008, and next month had been the deadline for him to make a request. He remains responsible for the costs to market his home, Qwest said.
Qwest is not the only company on the hook for buying the homes of executives who move.
In March, AT&T Inc said it paid $1.7 million for Chief Executive Randall Stephenson's home when it relocated him to Dallas, while Bank of America Corp said it bought the home of Barbara Desoer when she moved to California from Charlotte, North Carolina, to take over the bank's mortgage operations.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Gunna Dickson)