This excerpt taken from the VRSN DEF 14A filed Apr 10, 2006.
The Importance of Stock Compensation at VeriSign
The use of stock options has long been a vital component of VeriSigns overall compensation philosophy, which is based on the principle that long-term incentive compensation should be closely aligned with stockholders interests. Over the years, we believe that we have been successful in achieving this objective through the use of a broad-based stock option program. Stock options align employees interests directly with those of other stockholders because an increase in stock price after the date of award is necessary for employees to realize any value.
Additionally, without stock options or another form of equity compensation, VeriSign would be forced to consider cash alternatives to provide a market-competitive total compensation package. These cash replacement alternatives would, among other things, potentially reduce the cash available for investment in innovation and technology.