Pfizer shareholders have been raising their eyebrows over the news that the firm’s ousted chief executive will leave with a financial package that could rise to $200 million.
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Pfizer noted that Hank McKinnell, who stepped down as chief executive in July, will receive over $180 million, made up of $82.3 million in pension benefits, $77.9 million in deferred compensation and cash and stock totalling more than $20.7 million.
The total could climb to almost $200 million if Mr McKinnell receives a $18.3 million stock award, but that is contingent on the future performance of the stock.
Pfizer said that it is contractually obligated to provide Mr McKinnell with certain severance payments and benefits and also noted that the figures include $67 million of his own money from prior compensation he set aside, the company said in the filing.
Mr McKinnell's resignation from the post came 19 months before he was scheduled to step down, and at the time he was under pressure from investors angered about the size of his retirement package, especially given that the firm’s shares had fallen around 40% during his five years at the helm of Pfizer.
New chief executive Jeffrey Kindler, who also replaced Mr McKinnell as Pfizer’s chairman this week, has no contract, a much lower annual salary than his predecessor and his pay package is tied to the stock's performance.