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Employees & Companies Make Their Voices Heard on the Value of Employee Stock Options to the U.S. Economy.

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- "Reality In The Valley: Keep The Promise of Innovation" Rally Brings Workers Together to Tout American Innovation, Ingenuity

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
john.schachter@porternovelli.com


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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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 24, 2004
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