Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's Better on Top at Pfizer

When Pfizer announced they were leaving the state and eliminating 2,400 jobs, the company said career and retirement counseling and possibly a severance and health care package based on years of service would be offered to those losing their employment. The 1,000 contract workers also faced with losing their jobs will get unemployment benefits for 26 weeks, but the real estate agents who had a rash of cancellations won't be so lucky, and neither will area schools and non-profit organizations who counted on the company for grants that supported their educational efforts.

The vast majority of these workers were just average Americans doing their best to help the company make their record profits. The unemployment benefits and severance packages will help, but until they find new jobs it will be a struggle for them to pay their bills and provide for their families.

Not so for those
at the top, who end up in much better shape:
When Pfizer vice chair Karen Katen got passed over in her bid to become chair of the giant drug maker, she prepared to bail out and will leave the company at the end of this month. The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog rummaged through an SEC proxy statement to add up her compensation package: "Katen’s eligible for a pension accrued over a 32-year career that, if taken as a lump sum, would be worth about $40.7 million. Her 401(k) retirement savings plan and some deferred stock are worth another $21.8 million. Add in bonuses, previously disclosed severance of $5.5 million, some stock awards and the like and you come up with the balance of the $76.8 million." She will get an additional $178,000 for unused vacations.
And the money gets better as you go up:
Ex-Pfizer Inc. chief Henry McKinnell got a $200 million retirement package in spite of presiding over a 49% slide in the value of the pharmaceutical giant's stock between 2000 and 2005.
What a stark contrast. Republicans love to brag about "wealth creation" policies, but they neglect to tell you they only benefit those at the top.

2 comments:

Kvatch said...

What a stark contrast. Republicans love to brag about "wealth creation" policies, but they neglect to tell you they only benefit those at the top.

And where is the Pfizer board? Like Congress abdicating their responsibilities. In this case, to oversee executive compensation and reign in a highly compensated nitwit who watched his company's value cut itself in half. Sheesh!

Kathy said...

Kvatch, unfortunately, the boards are usually recommended by the CEO's themselves (cozy, huh?). When it comes time to vote in a new board, most stockholders just go along with the recommendations, not realizing the relationships these people all have with one another.