Verizon Communications Inc -- DEFA14A






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The following Letter to the Editor from Peter W. Thonis, Chief Communications Officer of Verizon Communications Inc., was published in the March 16, 2009 issue of Crain’s New York Business.

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Your article on executive compensation (March 9) takes a gratuitous swipe at Verizon’s policies. While rightly calling Verizon a company that has “better aligned its pay policies with the times,” the article goes on to quote two pension funds that argue shareholders should not pay for unearned compensation – citing, inaccurately, our CEO’s death benefit.

In fact, upon the death of Verizon’s CEO, not a single dime of “severance” would be paid to his estate. A portion of his death benefit would be a payment from his life insurance company, and another potential portion would be the payment of previously reported income that would vest at the time of his death. This income is entirely at risk, depending on the company’s stock price performance over three years’ time.

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On February 26, 2009, Verizon filed its preliminary proxy statement (the “Preliminary Proxy Statement”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) relating to its 2009 annual meeting of shareholders (the “Annual Meeting”). Verizon expects to file with the SEC its definitive proxy statement (the “Definitive Proxy Statement”) relating to the Annual Meeting on or about March 23, 2009. Shareholders are strongly advised to read the Definitive Proxy Statement, as well as any supplements thereto or other relevant documents that Verizon files with the SEC, when they become available because they will contain important information. Shareholders are able to obtain copies of the Preliminary Proxy Statement and will be able to obtain copies of the Definitive Proxy Statement and any other documents filed by Verizon with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting free of charge at the SEC’s website at or on Verizon’s investor relations website at

Verizon and its directors and its executive officers may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders in connection with the Annual Meeting. Information concerning Verizon’s directors and executive officers and their respective interests in Verizon by security holdings or otherwise is available in the Preliminary Proxy Statement and in Verizon’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, filed with the SEC on February 24, 2009.