AMENDED AND RESTATED
COMPENSATION COMMITTEE CHARTER
of the Compensation Committee
of COGENT COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS, INC.
This amended and restated Compensation Committee Charter was adopted by the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) on February 14, 2020.
The purpose of the Compensation Committee (the “Committee”) of the Board of the Company is (1) to discharge the Board’s responsibilities relating to compensation of the Company’s executives, including by designing (in consultation with management, outside advisers and/or the Board), recommending to the Board for approval, and evaluating the compensation plans, policies and programs of the Company and (2) to produce an annual report on executive compensation for inclusion in the Company’s proxy materials in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. The Committee shall ensure that compensation programs are designed to encourage high-performance; facilitate the retention of high-performing employees; promote accountability of all employees and assure that the interests of all employees are aligned with the interests of the Company’s stockholders.
In addition to the powers and responsibilities expressly delegated to the Committee in this Charter, the Committee may exercise any other powers and carry out any other responsibilities delegated to it by the Board from time to time consistent with the Company’s bylaws. The powers and responsibilities delegated by the Board to the Committee in this Charter or otherwise shall be exercised and carried out by the Committee as it deems appropriate without requirement of Board approval, and any decision made by the Committee (including any decision to exercise or refrain from exercising any of the powers delegated to the Committee hereunder) shall be at the Committee’s sole discretion. While acting within the scope of the powers and responsibilities delegated to it, the Committee shall have and may exercise all the powers and authority of the Board. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the Committee shall have the power to determine which matters are within the scope of the powers and responsibilities delegated to it.
The Committee shall be composed of at least two directors as determined by the Board, none of whom shall be an employee of the Company and each of whom shall (1) satisfy the independence requirements of any stock exchange on which the securities of the Company are listed, (2) not accept directly or indirectly any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee from the Company or any subsidiary thereof (compensatory fees shall not include: (i) fees received as a member of the Committee, the Board or any other Board committee; or (ii) the receipt of fixed amounts of compensation under a retirement plan (including deferred compensation) for prior service with the Company (provided that such compensation is not contingent in any way on continued service)), (3) be a “non-employee director” within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), and (4) be an “outside director” under the regulations promulgated under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
The members of the Committee, including the Chair of the Committee, shall be appointed by the Board. In determining whether a director is eligible to serve on the Committee, the Board will consider whether the director is affiliated with the Company, a subsidiary of the Company or an affiliate of a subsidiary of the Company to determine whether such affiliation would impair the director's judgment as a member of the Committee. Committee members may be removed from the Committee, with or without cause, by the Board. Any action duly taken by the Committee shall be valid and effective, whether or not the members of the Committee at the time of such action are later determined not to have satisfied the requirements for membership provided herein.
III. Meetings and Procedures
The Chair (or in his or her absence, a member designated by the Chair) shall preside at each meeting of the Committee and set the agendas for Committee meetings. The Committee shall have the authority to establish its own rules and procedures for notice and conduct of its meetings so long as they are not inconsistent with any provisions of the Company’s bylaws that are applicable to the Committee.
The Committee shall meet at least two times per year and more frequently as the Committee deems necessary or desirable.
All non-management directors who are not members of the Committee may attend and observe meetings of the Committee. The Committee may, at its discretion, include in its meetings members of the Company’s management, representatives of the independent auditor, the internal auditor (if any), any other financial personnel employed or retained by the Company or any other person whose presence the Committee, or the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) believes to be necessary or appropriate. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the CEO may not be present during voting or deliberations concerning his or her compensation and the Committee may exclude from its meetings any persons it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, any non-management director who is not a member of the Committee.
The Committee shall have the sole authority, as it deems appropriate and in its sole discretion, to retain and/or replace, as needed, any independent counsel, compensation and benefits consultants and other outside experts or advisors as the Committee believes to be necessary or appropriate. The Committee shall be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation and oversight of the work of any independent counsel, compensation and benefits consultant and other outside expert or advisor retained by the Committee. The Committee may also utilize the services of the Company’s regular legal counsel or other advisors to the Company. The Company shall provide for appropriate funding, as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion, for payment of compensation to any such persons retained by the Committee.
Prior to selecting or receiving advice from a compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser to the Committee, other than in-house legal counsel, the Committee shall take into consideration the following factors:
1. The provision of other services to the Company by the person that employs the compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser;
2. The amount of fees received from the Company by the person that employs the compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser, as a percentage of the total revenue of the person that employs the compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser;
3. The policies and procedures of the person that employs the compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser that are designed to prevent conflicts of interest;
4. Any business or personal relationship of the compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser with a member of the Committee;
5. Any stock of the Company owned by the compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser; and
6. Any business or personal relationship of the compensation consultant, legal counsel, other adviser or the person employing the adviser with an executive officer of the Company.
The Chair shall report to the Board following meetings of the Committee and as otherwise requested by the Chairman of the Board.
IV. Duties and Responsibilities
1. The Committee shall, at least annually, recommend the compensation of the CEO to the Board based on the Committee’s evaluation of the CEO’s performance.
2. The Committee shall, at least annually, review all compensation for all other officers (as such term is defined in Rule 16a-1, promulgated under the 1934 Act) and directors and recommend compensation of such individuals to the Board.
3. The Committee shall review and approve all executive officers’ employment agreements and severance arrangements.
4. The Committee shall have oversight of the administration of the Company’s equity based compensation plans.
5. The Committee shall establish and periodically review policies concerning perquisite benefits.
6. The Committee shall determine the Company’s policy with respect to change of control or “parachute” payments.
7. The Committee shall manage and review executive officer and director indemnification and insurance matters.
8. The Committee shall have oversight of the human capital management of the Company including monitoring of the recruitment, training, retention, and benefits programs concerning the Company’s workforce.
9. The Committee shall manage and review any employee loans, to the extent permitted under applicable law, in an amount equal to or greater than $75,000. Loans shall not be extended to executive officers of the Company.
10. The Committee shall prepare and approve the Compensation Committee Report to be included as part of the Company’s annual proxy statement (the “Proxy Statement Report”).
11. The Committee shall evaluate its own performance on an annual basis, including its compliance with this Charter, and provide any written material with respect to such evaluation to the Board, including any recommendations for changes in procedures or policies governing the Committee. The Committee shall conduct such evaluation and review in such manner as it deems appropriate.
12. The Committee shall review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter at least annually and submit any recommended changes to the Board for its consideration.
V. Delegation of Duties
In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Committee shall be entitled to delegate any or all of its responsibilities to a subcommittee of the Committee, except that it shall not delegate its responsibilities set forth in paragraphs 3 and 5 of Section IV above or for any matters that involve executive compensation or any matters where it has determined such compensation is intended to comply with Section 162(m) of the Code by virtue of being approved by a committee of “outside directors” or is intended to be exempt from Section 16(b) under the 1934 Act pursuant to Rule 16b-3 by virtue of being approved by a committee of “non-employee directors.”