This excerpt taken from the DVN DEF 14A filed Apr 27, 2007.
Attracting and Retaining Executive Talent Over the Long-Term
We believe that the attraction and long-term retention of executive officers contributes significantly to our
success. When executives remain with us over the long-term, they cultivate meaningful, long-term relationships with key employees. This enables them to positively impact our performance by continually developing our personnel, fine-tuning business processes, and creating a high-performance, effective culture. In addition, stability at the executive level helps us attract and retain managers and other employees who possess valuable technical expertise and an understanding of the oil and gas industry.
In order to attract and retain key executives who will successfully manage the business over the longer-term, we must compensate executives in a manner that is competitive with the market for executive talent. Annually, the Committee reviews peer group compensation information prepared by the Compensation Consultant to ensure that our total executive compensation program is competitive. The survey data used by the Committee as a guide in determining our executive compensation includes information from companies in the energy industry and the broader market in which we compete for key executive talent. Companies against which our executive compensation is measured include Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Apache Corporation, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Dominion Resources, Inc., Duke Energy Corporation, El Paso Corporation, EnCana Corporation, Enterprise Products Partners, L.P., EOG Resources, Inc., Halliburton Company, Hess Corporation, Kerr-McGee Corporation (now a part of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation), Marathon Oil Corporation, Murphy Oil Corporation, Nabors Industries Ltd., Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Schlumberger Limited, Tesoro Corporation, Transocean Inc., Valero Energy Corporation and Williams Companies, Inc. A significant portion of the long-term compensation awarded to our executives is subject to a vesting schedule, which, in addition to attracting executive officers and aligning them with the goal of maximizing stockholder value, motivates executives to remain with us over the long-term.