Employees & Companies Make Their Voices Heard on the Value of Employee Stock Options to the U.S. Economy.
Some of the 14 million American workers with employee stock option plans made their voices heard today at a rally in front of the Palo Alto City Hall and at roundtable discussion sessions with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The employees and small business owners highlighted how employee stock options fuel innovation, small businesses and economic growth and how FASB's misguided proposal to require companies to expense their options will hurt U.S. competitiveness.
"These workers are here today to let accounting regulators know that employee ownership is an American value that should be preserved, not destroyed," said Rick White, chairman of the International Employee Stock Options Coalition (IESOC), the rally's sponsor. "We want to help preserve the broad-based employee stock option plans that are so important to rank-and-file workers. Nearly 90 percent of workers who receive stock options are not managers. Those are the people we're speaking for today, and FASB needs to hear them loud and clear."
FASB held morning and afternoon discussion sessions in Palo Alto to consider their proposal to mandate expensing of employee stock option plans. Among those speaking to the group were employees and executives from companies such as Cisco Systems, Intel, Sun and Qualcomm. Recent studies show that throughout the United States, 14 million American workers currently hold employee stock options. Many companies will be forced to curtail or eliminate their broad-based stock option plans if they are required to expense the options.
In addition to company employees from some of the world's leading innovative companies such as Sun, Cisco and Genentech, speakers at Reality In The Valley: Keep The Promise of Innovation included former U.S. Representative Tom Campbell, Dean of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley; Peter B. Giles, President and CEO of The Tech Museum of Innovation; Jim Cunneen, President and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce; and Marc Jones, President and CEO of Visionael Corporation, a small business that provides network management and security solutions designed for large and complex corporate, government and service provider networks.
The IESOC has also helped lead an electronic petition drive to secure the signatures of thousands of company employees across the United States who oppose FASB's misguided efforts. More than 4,000 employees have signed the petition so far.
"Employee stock options are a big part of innovation and economic growth in this country," the IESOC's White added. "Many members of Congress understand this fact, and they need to support America's workers and American innovation by telling FASB to do the right thing. Mandating that options be expensed is a death sentence for many broad-based employee stock option plans. That's not what hard-working American workers want or what the U.S. economy needs to compete in the world."
Along with the petition, more than 3,500 company employees have sent comment letters to FASB expressing their concern with the FASB proposal. These workers represent scores of companies across the country and come from more than 30 states. FASB's public comment period ends June 30; another FASB Roundtable discussion is scheduled for June 29 in Norwalk, CT.
The International Employee Stock Options Coalition (IESOC) supports broad-based employee stock option plans. The Coalition comprises trade associations and companies representing a diverse range of industries, including high-tech, manufacturing and service companies, in the United States and abroad.
International Employee Stock Options Coalition Members Trade associations ------------------ AEA (American Electronics Association) American Business Conference Business Roundtable Business Software Alliance California Healthcare Institute Information Technology Industry Council Massachusetts High Tech Council Massachusetts Software and Internet Council NASDAQ National Association of Manufacturers National Venture Capital Association Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International Semiconductor Industry Association Software Finance and Tax Executives Council Software and Information Industry Association The Technology Network Companies --------- Agilent Technologies Altera Applied Materials, Inc. Autodesk Cisco Systems, Inc. Conexant Systems, Inc Coors Brewing Dell Computer Emulex Flextronics Genentech Intel Corporation KLA-Tencor Micron Technology, Inc. Microsemi Qualcomm Sun Microsystems Symantec Synopsys, Inc. Valero Energy Verisign, Inc. Xilinx MEDIA CONTACTS International Employee Stock Options Coalition (IESOC) John Schachter 202-419-3254 firstname.lastname@example.org COMPANIES --------- Cisco Systems Kim Gibbons 408-525-4909 (office) 408-398-5223 (cell) Sun Microsystems May Petry 650-786-0034 (office) 415-519-4271 (cell) National Semiconductor Corp. LuAnn Jenkins 408-721-2440 (office) 408-981-2147 (cell) Intel Corp. Bill Calder 408-765-1669 (office) ASSOCIATIONS ------------ AeA (American Electronics Association) Judy Kleinberg 408-987-4265 (office) 650-575-8550 (cell) John Palafoutas 202-682-4451 (office) Rob Haralson (for Bill Archey, President & CEO) 202-682-4443 (office) National Venture Capital Association Emily Mendell 610-359-9609 (office) SIA (Semiconductor Industry Association) John Greenagel 408-573-6612 (office) 408-712-4438 (cell) TechNet Jim Hock 202-973 6616 (office) 202-494 8132 (cell)
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|Date:||Jun 24, 2004|
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