And 2009 proxy-and-pay season is just barely underway, here! Wow!
In a just-filed Form 4, CEO Fred Hassan has received $3.4 million -- at the February 27, 2009 grant valuation date. These phantom units are equivalent to common shares, except that they are payable in cash, as soon as he leaves the company. This is yet another Hans Becherer-engineered golden parachute.
[In passing, I'll note that each of Messrs. Bertolini, Cheeley, Kohan, Saunders, Sabatino (who already received an unscheduled $500,000, in cash in December 2008 -- about three months ago!), and Ms. Cox received between $1 million, and $1.2 million worth of identical phantom units, as well. Over $9 million in the aggregate, just from this one pot. Sheesh!]
All of the Schering-Plough team members who were severed in 2008 should take a very close look at these figures -- how many of your salaries would have been covered by a renunciation of just this portion of the "Top Six's" 2008 pay package? And for how many YEARS? [Where is the Annual Shareholders' Meeting, this year? Show up! -- Speak out! -- Act up!]:
195,610 Phantom Stock Units. . . . Price: $17.39. . . .
. . . .Each unit of phantom stock is the economic equivalent of one share of common stock. The units of phantom stock will be held in the Issuer's Phantom Stock Fund under the Issuer's non-qualified deferred compensation plan, and will become payable, in cash, following the reporting person's termination of service. . . .
So -- no performance-based pay is present in any of these phantom shares -- and thus they are simply [another] $3.4 million "golden parachute" -- to Hassan, and the top six.
What possible motivational engine is served here, on top of the more than $30 million Mr. Hassan has already been granted by the Board's Compensation Committee? Really -- what purpose do these latest phantom stock units serve? Cue Mr. Becherer (the chair of that committee). [Crickets chirping. . . .]