This excerpt taken from the VZ DEF 14A filed Mar 17, 2008.
For 2007, the Committee determined that target annual compensation (base salary and target annual incentive opportunities) for the named executive officers should generally be at the 50th percentile for comparable positions at the Market Peers. The Committee believed that providing the opportunity to earn this level of annual compensation, if the applicable performance measures are achieved, was appropriate to attract high-performing and experienced executives and motivate the executives to achieve the short-term performance measures. The Committee benchmarked target long-term incentive opportunities for the named executive officers between the 60th and the 75th percentile when compared to positions at the Market Peers. The Committee believed that providing the opportunity to earn this level of long-term compensation, if the relative TSR performance levels are achieved, was appropriate to align the executives interests with the creation of sustained long-term shareholder value.