Analyst: King Pharma chief grossly overpaid

In the annals of CEO pay, there's responsible pay-for-performance, and then there's a complete unhinging of salary from a company's fortunes. We're not ones to point fingers ourselves, but we will quote others whose pencils and spreadsheet powers are sharper than ours. And according to Glass Lewis, a proxy advisor who's researched public-company pay, more than one pharma exec are getting unreasonably inflated paychecks.

"Pay Dirt," Lewis's list of companies whose "boards and compensation committees" have failed "in their fiduciary duty" to link pay with performance, identifies King Pharmaceuticals chief Brian Markison as one of the S&P 500 Overpaid 25. Markison ranked 23rd with about $30.3 million in total compensation during a year when King's stock fell about 36 percent and EPS growth dropped by nearly 37 percent. Like all the other companies who made the Overpaid 25, King earned an "F" grade from Lewis for its pay-for-performance.

A few smaller pharma firms got Lewis's thumbs down, too: Theravance, Nektar Therapeutics, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Neurocrine Biosciences, and Idenix Pharmaceuticals.

- read the post at Pharmalot