Windstream names new chairman, declares dividend

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Windstream names new chairman, declares dividend

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Windstream Corp. has named a new chairman as the phone company takes another step in improving its corporate governance structure.

Taking over as chairman is Dennis Foster, who qualifies as an independent director under Nasdaq listing standards. He has been lead director at Windstream, chairing the governance committee. Foster is a principal at Foster Thoroughbred Investments in Lexington, K.Y. and was vice chairman at Alltel Corp.

Foster replaces Francis Frantz, who has been chairman since July 2006. Also a former Alltel executive, he won’t qualify as an independent director for several more years because he was compensated when he moved from Alltel to Windstream. Frantz will stay on as a director.

“The appointment of an independent chairman enhances our corporate governance profile and simplifies our governance structure by eliminating the need for a separate lead director to preside over executive sessions of independent directors on the board,” said Jeff Gardner, Windstream president and CEO said in a statement Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the phone company’s board agreed to give shareholders a vote on executive compensation at its May 5 annual shareholders’ meeting. It also adopted a policy that requires executives to pay back part of their compensation in certain situations if earnings have to be restated, and requires that directors in uncontested elections must get the majority vote.

Windstream, based in Little Rock, Ark., also declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share. It is payable on April 15 to shareholders of record as of March 31.

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