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FedEx Shareholders to Vote on Separation of Executive Roles

FedEx shareholders may vote Monday to separate the role of chairman and chief executive officer at the company's annual meeting.

Frederick W. Smith currently serves as the shipping company's chairman, president and CEO since 1998, according to the company's last annual report.

Proxy advisory firms RiskMetrics Group's ISS Governance Services and Glass Lewis & Co. both advised shareholders to approve a proposal that would separate the roles of chairman and CEO.

"We view an independent chairman as better able to oversee the executives of the company and set a proshareholder agenda without the management conflicts that a CEO or other executive insiders often face," wrote Glass Lewis analyst Eric Dao, in a client note.

Both proxy advisory firms also said investors should approve a proposal that would allow shareholders to cast a nonbinding vote on executive compensation.

"Glass Lewis believes that advisory voting to approve the reports of the compensation committee serves as an effective mechanism for enhancing transparency in setting executive pay, improving accountability to shareholders and providing for a more effective link between pay and performance," wrote Dao.

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