In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application program) which services the requests of its clients by forwarding requests to other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource, available from a different server. The proxy server provides the resource by connecting to the specified server and requesting the service on behalf of the client. A proxy server may optionally alter the client's request or the server's response, and sometimes it may serve the request without contacting the specified server. In this case, it would 'cache' the first request to the remote server, so it could save the information for later, and make everything as fast as possible. A proxy server that passes all requests and replies unmodified is usually called a gateway or sometimes tunneling proxy. A proxy server can be placed in the user's local computer or at specific key points between the user and the destination servers or the Internet.

17 January 2008

Proxy firm

Proxy Governance Inc. has recommended that shareholders withhold their support for the board of directors at Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), in light of excessive executive compensation in the face of operational underperformance.

Tyson has underperformed its peer group over the past few years, and Proxy argues that the company's management has not done enough to respond to industry challenges including increased feed costs and export restrictions on beef.

In 2007, Tyson stock declined in value while Richard Bond was paid $24.6 million. Tyson says that "it's apparent they haven't done all their homework." But I think that a CEO getting paid $24.6 million while presiding over the destruction of shareholder value is indicative of a compensation committee that hasn't done its homework: Proxy estimated that Tyson chief executives have been paid 82% more than CEOs at other companies in the peer group.

Executive pay is, as a whole, so out of touch with reality that any company that is overpaying so egregiously that it gets the attention of a proxy advisory firm really doesn't have a leg to stand on. Hopefully Tyson shareholder will send a message to the board.

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