SW Benefits Update: Glass Lewis, COVID-19 and Public Company Executive Compensation
April 7, 2020
By Greg Gautam
As noted in a prior S&W Benefits Update, the spread of COVID-19 is impacting executive compensation programs in a meaningful way. Among other approaches, our update suggested that management and their corporate boards might consider tackling COVID-19 by adjusting 2020 performance goals, delaying compensation decisions and changing the mix of equity awards by making more full value grants. We also noted that certain actions might be viewed unfavorably by Glass Lewis (“GL”) and other proxy advisors. GL recently provided guidance on its approach to navigating the governance issues, including compensation issues, related to COVID-19. While reading the entire Glass Lewis memorandum is suggested, GL makes clear that a “business as usual” approach to executive pay will face opposition in situations where employees and shareholders see their own paychecks cut.
In this update, we highlight a few key concepts from the GL guidance.
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