Abbott chief's pay drops 15% to $28.3M

The executive pay parade continues. Today's entry: Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White (photo). The amount: $28.3 million. That's down $5 million from his 2007 pay of $33.4 million, but includes a tad bit more cash this time around.

Here are the specifics. White's base salary was $1.795 million for 2008, up from $1.727 million in 2007; his incentive cash ran to $4.2 million this year versus $4.05 million the year before. So White took in almost $6 million cash in 2008, with the rest in stocks, options, pension and other compensation, compared with $5.73 million in cash for 2007. His 2007 stock and option awards were lots bigger, though: $8.75 million in stock for 2007 versus $7.58 million for 2008, and $14.77 million in options versus $10.76 million.

How did Abbott do in 2008? In the company's proxy statement, there's a chart showing ABT outperforming both the S&P 500 and S&P 500 Health Care Index in 2008--by about a one-third margin. That chart immediately precedes the executive compensation table, presumably to put shareholders in a good mood before they take a look at White's paycheck. We feel obligated to note, however, that Abbott's stock did close 2008 slightly down from 2007, and, according to Bloomberg, is down 10 percent so far this year. 

- see Abbott's proxy statement (compensation table on p. 17)