Novartis plans to trim executive pay: report
Basel-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis is preparing to slash the pay of its chairman and board, following a push in Switzerland to rein in the bonuses of top executives, according to a report published onTuesday.
The company is planning a 21-percent cut in the pay of its board members, while new chairman Jörg Reinhardt is set to receive less than a third of the salary his predecessor pulled in during his last full year on the job, financial daily Finanz und Wirtschaft reported online.
Novartis sent a letter to its shareholders Tuesday to inform them the pay cuts would be discussed at the company's next general assembly on February 25th, according to the report.
Reinhardt was set to receive four million Swiss francs ($4.42 million) in 2014, compared to the 13 million francs his predecessor Daniel Vasella took home in 2012.
The remaining 10 board members would on average receive 406,000 francs, down from 515,000 francs last year and 554,000 in 2012, the report said.
The move comes less than a year after the Swiss overwhelmingly voted in a referendum to ban golden parachutes and other excessive bonuses, while submitting executive pay to shareholder approval.
Novartis had become the unwilling poster child for the initiative, following revelations that Vasella was set to rake in 72 million Swiss francs when he stepped down, shortly before the March 3rd vote.
The deal sparked an uproar and was widely credited with the nearly 70-percent support for the initiative.