Lexmark OKs say-on-pay vote

After being urged by shareholders for a second straight year, Lexmark International's board of directors agreed Thursday to begin conducting a non-binding vote on executive compensation beginning next year.

The move by the board came after the company's annual stockholders meeting at Lexington's Embassy Suites.

Sixty percent of shareholders voted in favor of the proposal last year, but Lexmark didn't agree to the measure, instead opting to survey large shareholders and talk individually with those among the largest holders of its stock. Roughly the same percentage approved the proposal this year, said Con Hitchcock, an attorney who represented the proposal's sponsor, Amalgamated Bank.

"We're very pleased with the decision," he said. "The company had taken some important steps to reach out to its largest shareholders over the past year, and this move means that all shareholders will have a say."

Lexmark had opposed the idea because executives said it would place the company at a disadvantage compared to companies that didn't have such a non-binding vote.

Also at the meeting, board members Michael Maples, Stephen Hardis, William Fields and Robert Holland Jr. were re-elected.

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