Sunday, April 21, 2013

With Pete Loftus' Able Assist, We Look At Dr. Peter S. Kim's Final Three Years Pay At Merck

I'm catching up here, on a glorious Sunday morning -- with this post, about executive compensation trends at Merck, from mid-last week set out by Pete Loftus, in the Wall Street Journal.

Do go read it all here, now that it is on the NASDAQ website for free (no subscription needed) -- but Pete's theme is essentially that the most prominent throttle on full incentive payouts to the executive officers at Merck, over the last three years, has been the number of research setbacks. [Insert here my usual rant about the mostly-faux pipeline "Fast" Fred Hassan transferred, from legacy Schering-Plough, into New Merck.]

This throttling was especially evident in the compensation trend for Dr. Peter S. Kim, outgoing head of Merck Research Labs. However, in the graphic I've prepared at right, the generally rising Merck NYSE stock price over the last two years has all but masked the fact that he has been awarded decreasing amounts of stock-related compensation, in the last two years (his "all in" compensation in 2012 equaled the 2010 level -- in dollars).

From Pete's then -- do go read it all:

. . . .Peter S. Kim, the outgoing leader of Merck's research-and-development arm, saw a 9% increase in the value of total compensation for 2012, to $6.5 million, mainly due to increases in stock awards and pension value and deferred compensation.

The board said Dr. Kim's annual cash incentive--which declined 9% from 2011--reflected "recent challenges" in Merck's late-stage pipeline, but also achievements including the filing for regulatory approval of four new drugs.

Last month, Merck named former Amgen R&D chief Roger Perlmutter to replace Dr. Kim, who is retiring. Dr. Perlmutter took his role this week, and Dr. Kim will remain a company adviser until his retirement in August. . . .
Now, I'm off to enjoy the spring weather -- on this fine day. Keep it spinning in good karma.

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