Grossed out…

February 13, 2006

Judging by the preliminary proxy that AT&T (T) filed late Friday, there’s more than a few shareholders who are grossed out by the excessive salaries and perks for top executives there. Three of the five shareholder resolutions had to do with pay for executives and directors, including one that passed by 66% of investors last year, but which was ignored as boards are able to do, despite the fact that we still live in a democracy.

But shareholders aren’t the only ones grossed out. It turns out former AT&T Chairman Dave Dorman, who retired in January and was given a widely reported $20 million in severance for his yeoman’s work, also got the company to kick in $11.12 million in tax gross ups, which wasn’t known until now. Of course, the company doesn’t call it a gross-up, probably because they know how that’s likely to sound. So instead they call it this: an offset of certain taxes. See, don’t you feel better already?

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