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PLEASANTON, Calif. - Safeway Inc. announced today that its board voted to declassify itself, meaning each director would stand for election or reelection each year beginning in 2005 pending shareholder approval.
A proposal to declassify the board received a non-binding majority vote at the company's 2003 annual meeting.
"The board's action shows its commitment to enhanced director accountability, as well as responsiveness to the views of our shareholders," said Steve Burd, chairman, president and c.e.o. of Safeway Inc. "Both the board and management of Safeway are committed to adhering to the highest corporate governance standards."
Safeway currently has nine directors. Burd is the only non-independent director.
Safeway also said that its board's compensation committee has modified its practice under the company's equity incentive plans. The compensation committee decided to award smaller new hire and promotion grants in combination with annual grants to eligible employees based on merit. This change was made to better align the interests of management and shareholders and more effectively use equity compensation as an incentive and retention tool, Safeway said.