Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fortune: Meet America's "Most Heartless [Ex-]CEO". . . Yep, It's Fred Hassan!

This morning, Fortune magazine's "Street Sweep" is running a summary of a report by a left-leaning think tank -- the non-profit Institute for Policy Studies (see the Institute's YouTube video report, centered at the bottom of this item) -- which concludes that our intrepid former Schering-Plough CEO, now Bausch + Lomb board chairman is "the Most Heartless CEO in America". [Image credit: at right, derived primarily from PharmaGossip -- The Insider's Halloween rolls of two years back (with props to a 2008 Kanye West CD Cover)!]

Kinda' makes ya' proud, no? [Full-text (a 1.8 Mb PDF file) of the report.]

Doubly so, when the top two spots on this list of ignomy go to pharma CEOs -- do go read it all:

. . . .The IPS study also names the 10 most heartless CEOs -- those receiving the biggest 2009 paychecks while announcing the biggest layoffs over the crisis period.

Topping the list is former Schering-Plough chief Fred Hassan (right), who took home $49.7 million after selling the drugmaker to Merck (MRK) in a deal that led to 16,000 job cuts.

Second is another pharmaceutical CEO whose leadership has come under scrutiny lately, William Weldon of Johnson & Johnson. Weldon took home $25.6 million last year, at a time when the company was firing 8,900 workers and stumbling toward a recall debacle that's still unfolding.

And it wouldn't be an overpaid CEO list without Mark Hurd, who was forced out of Hewlett-Packard last month after it turned out that an eight-figure paycheck wasn't enough to keep him from fudging his expense account. Hurd made $24 million last year and oversaw 6,400 layoffs, but if anything those numbers understate Hurd's "contribution" to these proud fields. . . .

I quoted the last bit from Fortune to specifically emphasize that (as the article iteself has, in reference to HP's Mr. Hurd), all of the "MSM-accepted" pay tallies woefully understate these CEOs' actual likely hauls. [So too, do they understate the layoff figures -- at New Merck/Legacy Schering-Plough, the actual figure is closer to 26,000 -- over the last three years alone.]

As I've repeatedly demonstrated, Mr. Hassan's parting gift -- for firing perhaps 26,000 workers -- would now be valued at close to $225 million, with New Merck stock sitting at $35 per share on the NYSE, pre-open, this morning.

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