This excerpt taken from the IBM DEF 14A filed Mar 10, 2008.
IBM Meeting Market Standards for Executive Compensation
We recognize that the issue of executive pay is critical to stockholders and to members of the public whose hopes for the future rest substantially on trust in the conduct of those who run our corporations. Simply put, those who profit disproportionately to the value they create for stockholders and society, or the value they provide to clients, are breaking faith with all who would do business with them, and all who would risk their hard-earned savings in the future of an enterprise.
We have provided the information in these pages precisely because IBM works to keep that faith. We know that striking a balance between stockholders concept of fairness and the incentives needed to attract and retain a stellar executive team will always require sound judgment and careful thought. Business, markets, and people are too dynamic for mere formulaic solutions. The numbers can be best understood when the process behind them is transparent.
IBMs business has always been to help our clients succeed through innovative solutions. Our stockholders deserve no less. We welcome this discussion.