BMS chief nabs $10 million raise

Why is Jim Cornelius (photo) smiling? His big promotion to permanent CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb last year came with a mighty boost in pay. According to the Wall Street Journal's calculations, Cornelius pulled down a $11.3 million pay package, up from $1.5 million in 2006, when he spent about four months as interim chief. (The Associated Press values Cornelius' pay even higher, at $13.5 million.)

Here are the details: 2007 base salary of $1.4 million, up from $380,000 the year before. Bonus of $1.1 million, incentive pay of $2.2 million, plus various perks such as jet travel, including $205,000 for an eight-month housing allowance. Most of his compensation came in the form of stock awards, worth about $8.4 million the day he got them, the AP says.

How did BMS itself do last year? the stock was mostly flat, ending the year about 1.2 percent lower. Profits rose 36.5 percent to $2.17 billion. And the company launched a series of cutbacks that include shuttering more than half its plants and cutting about 10 percent of its workforce.

The SEC has scolded some pharma firms for the way they set executive compensation--including BMS. And as the WSJ notes, Cornelius' package couldn't beat those handed out at Abbott, Wyeth, J&J, or Merck. But he did collect more than Pfizer's chief Jeff Kindler.

- see the coverage at the WSJ Health Blog
- check out the Associated Press story
- find this item at Pharmalot

ALSO: Former BMS CFO Frederick Schiff went on trial yesterday for conspiracy and securities fraud stemming from an alleged scheme to inflate the company's revenue and earnings back in 2000 to 2002. But the trial judge narrowed the scope of those charges, saying Schiff can't be held liable for failing to clarify statements made in BMS's SEC filings. Report | Report

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