This excerpt taken from the VRSN DEF 14A filed Apr 14, 2009.
Equity Award Practices
The Compensation Committee approves all equity awards to Section 16 executive officers, which include the Named Executive Officers, including annual award grants and any new hire, promotion and discretionary grants.
For all other employees, the Compensation Committee approves an aggregate equity pool and individual grant guidelines. The Committee has delegated the actual award determination for such employees to the Grant Committee established by the Board and comprised of one individual, Mr. D. James Bidzos, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis. The Compensation Committee has determined that any such awards would be granted on the 15th of the month (or the next scheduled trading day if the 15th of the month falls on a non-trading date) following the approval by the Grant Committee.
Beginning with the 2009 fiscal year, the Company changed the timing of the administration of its annual equity award program for executive officers and other employees. The administration and allocation of annual equity awards was changed from August to February to align with the Companys regular performance management process, which occurs in the first quarter of the fiscal year. During this process, decisions regarding employee performance, salary merit increases and bonus awards are determined. Therefore, moving the timing of the annual equity award process helps support and reinforce our pay for performance objectives. The annual equity award grants are reviewed, approved and granted by the Compensation Committee at its regular meeting during the first quarter of each year, scheduled at least a year in advance.