Pfizer investors have expressed their dissatisfaction with the remuneration offered to senior executives, including chief executive Hank McKinnell, by asking shareholders to force the company’s compensation committee members to tender their resignations.

The Investors for Director Accountability Foundation is urging shareholders to register ‘withhold’ votes for the four members of the committee at the company’s annual meeting on April 27. If the members get more ‘withhold’ than ‘for’ votes, they must offer their resignation to the board.

The investors are unhappy about the 44% decline in the company’s share price since 2001, which they say has hit employee retirement funds. Over the same period, they allege, McKinnell has been awarded about $28.5 million in salary and bonuses and granted stock worth more than $55 million, as well as being eligible for a $6.5 million annual pension.

Shad Rowe, president of the IDAF, said that as Pfizer has announced plans to cut $4 billion in expenses by 2008, "we suggest that Mr McKinnell might demonstrate leadership by reducing his own compensation until shareholder value is restored.”