Disgraced ex-Astra CEO must forfeit pay

The financial industry may not be clawing back salary and bonuses from the bankers whose wild behavior cost their companies money. But you can't say the same about Big Pharma. Lars Bildman (photo)--former CEO of Astra, now part of AstraZeneca--has to repay nearly $7 million in salary and bonus because of a sexual harrassment case that cost the company $10 million.

Massachusetts' highest court ruled for the company, saying that New York's "faithless servant" doctrine allowed the clawback. The ruling apparently won't enrich Astra much; Bildman says he's living on Social Security and has no money to collect. But it could set a precedent for future salary forfeitures. "Given the prominence of this case and given the forcefulness of the court's ruling," Astra attorney Jeff Robbins told the Boston Globe, "this is a holding that could have national significance in the area of forfeiture law."

Bildman's shenanigans went public in a BusinessWeek series, which detailed crazy, destructive partying and--more to the sexual harrassment point--the CEO's recruiting young single women to replace older female employees and young mothers. A company investigation also found evidence that Bildman siphoned company money for personal use. He was fired, and the company sued. More than 10 years later, the case is closed.

- read the Globe story
- get more from the News-Journal
- see the post at BNet Pharma