Merck execs pull down $36M in pay

Just in time to be overshadowed by news of the company merger with Schering-Plough, Merck filed its SEC disclosure on executive pay. The gist? Top managers snared a total of $36 million in compensation for 2008, plus use of the corporate jet. All of them reaped cash bonuses--ranging from $563,767 and $2.2 million--as part of their packages even though two of them delivered "below-target performance," BNet Pharma reports.

Here are the numbers, man by man. And yes, they are all men:

  • CEO Richard Clark (photo) got $19.9 million, total, up a smidge from 2007's $19.6 million.
  • CFO Peter Kellogg pulled down $3.8 million, more than twice his 2007 package of $1.2 million.
  • R&D chief Peter Kim earned $4.2 million, down from $6.2 million; this year's amount includes a cash bonus of more than $875,000.
  • Global Health President Kenneth Frazier nabbed $5.5 million, down just a bit from $5.6 million in 2007; his cash bonus was more than $986,000.
  • General Counsel Bruce Kuhlik got $2.6 million.

The executive millions were handed out for a year when Merck's stock dropped by half and, excluding the effect of last year's $4.5 billion Vioxx settlement, net profits fell by 49 percent, BNet points out. Sales fell by 3 percent to $6 billion. And during 2008, the company announced 8,400 job cuts.

For 2009, though, Merck will be able to boast of big growth, thanks to the Schering-Plough deal. We'll have to wait and see how that affects Clark's paycheck.

- read the BNet post
- see Merck's filing with the SEC