This excerpt taken from the VRSN DEF 14A filed Apr 10, 2006.
The following table sets forth certain summary information concerning the compensation awarded to, earned by, or paid for services rendered to us in all capacities during 2005, 2004, and 2003 by our chief executive officer, the four most highly compensated executive officers, other than the chief executive officer, who were serving as executive officers at the end of 2005, as well as one individual who would have been among the four most highly compensated executive officers for 2005 but for the fact that the individual was not serving as an executive officer at the end of 2005. These officers are referred to together in this proxy statement as the Named Executive Officers.
This excerpt taken from the VRSN DEF 14A filed Apr 26, 2005.
Base Salary. Salaries for executive officers for 2004 were generally determined on an individual basis by evaluating each executives scope of responsibility, performance, prior experience and salary history, as well as the salaries for similar positions at comparable companies. In addition, VeriSigns Human Resources Department provided information to us regarding salary range guidelines for specific positions.
Base salary is adjusted each year to take into account the executive officers performance and to maintain a competitive salary structure. We conduct reviews of executive compensation practices on an annual basis and may change each executive officers salary based on the individuals contributions and responsibilities over the prior twelve months and any change in median comparable company pay levels. We believe that, on the basis of our knowledge of executive compensation in the industry, that VeriSigns salary levels for the executive officers are reasonable and necessary given the competition for executive talent in the industry and VeriSigns financial resources.
Bonus Plan. VeriSign has established a bonus plan that rewards employees who are identified as key contributors to the success of the company. Target bonuses are established based on a percentage of base salary
and become payable upon the achievement of specified total company financial goals and personal and team objectives. We administer this plan with regard to the chief executive officer and the other executive officers of VeriSign. The executive management team administers the plan for all other employees.
VeriSigns total compensation philosophy is based on the concept that variable pay is earned through effective performance and contribution to the success of the company. Bonus payments are based on actual performance in achieving corporate, business unit (or divisional) and individual targets. Each year, the compensation committee, working with the executive management team, establishes the corporate goals for bonus measurement purposes and determines weightings for each element. The executive management team is responsible for ensuring that actual results are confirmed before they are applied against the bonus plan for payment purposes. Each business unit or divisional executive vice president is responsible for developing the targets and objectives for their division. All targets and objectives are aligned with the business plan for the fiscal year and monitored by VeriSigns corporate finance department. Individual performance is measured relative to the individuals personal contribution to the success of the organization. This element is objective and tied to individual documented objectives for the bonus year. All targets and related objectives are defined and measured on an annual basis.
For 2005, corporate goals for VeriSigns executive management members have been set in the following areas:
Long-Term Incentive Awards. We believe that equity-based compensation in the form of stock options, restricted stock units and restricted stock awards links the interests of executive officers with the long-term interests of VeriSigns stockholders and encourages executive officers to remain in VeriSigns employ. Stock options, restricted stock units and restricted stock awards generally have value for executive officers only if the officer remains in VeriSigns employ for the period required for the shares to vest, and, in the case of stock options, only if the price of VeriSigns stock increases above the fair market value on the grant date.
VeriSign grants stock options, restricted stock units and restricted stock awards in accordance with the 1998 Equity Incentive Plan and 2001 Stock Incentive Plan. In 2004, stock options and restricted stock units were granted to executive officers to aid in the retention of executive officers and to align their interests with those of the stockholders. Stock options typically have been granted to executive officers when the executive first joins VeriSign; in connection with a significant change in responsibilities; annually as part of the VeriSign Key Contributor Stock Option Program; and, occasionally, to achieve equity within a peer group. We may, however, grant additional stock options, restricted stock units and restricted stock awards to executive officers for other reasons. The number of shares subject to each stock option granted, restricted stock unit granted and restricted stock award is within our discretion and is based on anticipated future contribution and ability to impact VeriSigns results, past performance or consistency within the executive officers peer group. In 2004, we considered these factors, as well as the number of unvested option shares held by the executive officer as of the date of grant. We may also grant stock options, restricted stock units and restricted stock awards to executive officers to provide greater incentives to continue their employment with VeriSign and to strive to increase the value of VeriSigns common stock. The stock options generally become exercisable over a four-year period and are granted at a price that is equal to the fair market value of VeriSigns common stock on the date of grant. Shares granted under restricted stock awards generally vest over a two year period, although one-third of the shares may not be disposed of until after three years.