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Published on 18 March 2008

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Wyeth’s ex-CEO received $20m in 2007


Wyeth’s former chief executive received compensation worth $20.09m in 2007, which was a 9% increase on the amount he received the previous year.

Robert Essner, who had been the pharmaceutical giant’s chief executive officer since May 2001, stepped down at the end of last year, with some analysts speculating his retirement was rushed due to the company’s difficulties getting new drugs approved.

According to the company’s proxy statement which was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Mr Essner, 60, received a base salary of $1.73m in 2007, up 4% from 2006.

And while he was not paid a bonus, he got $3.2m from Wyeth’s nonstock incentive plan.

But most of the money came from restricted stock shares and options awarded to him last April, when the company valued them at $14.93m.

Mr Essner also received perks and other compensation totalling $232,057, including $95,246 for the use of a corporate jet, $15,096 for personal car use, $51,855 in company matches to two retirement plans, $39,460 for legal fees regarding ending his employment and $13,139 to reimburse him for taxes he paid.

Mr Essner remains chairman of the board, but was replaced as CEO on 1 January this year by Bernard Poussot, who has worked at Wyeth since 1986 and been its president and vice-chairman since 2006.

Copyright © PA Business 2008


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