Pfizer chief's pay leaps 17% to $14.8M

It's good to be Jeff Kindler (photo) these days. The Pfizer CEO recently bagged the biggest pharma deal around, with his $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth. The analysts who were agitating for him to make a big move are appeased, for now. And at a time when jobs are scarce and raises even more so, he got a 17 percent hike in 2008 pay.

His entire compensation package? $14.79 million, according to the Associated Press. His base salary grew 8 percent to $1.58 million, though it remained a small fraction of his overall pay. Performance-based cash bonus: $3 million. Stock and option awards: $9.78 million. (About a quarter of that, however, was options with a $22.55 strike price; at press time the stock was trading at $14.79.) The balance is made up in use of the company plane, home security, financial counseling, and use of a car.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal values Kindler's pay at $13.1 million--but that number is calculated differently. BNet Pharma notes that Pfizer put the lower number in its proxy under "total direct compensation." Elsewhere in the proxy lies a summary compensation table, and Pfizer itself reminds us that the total direct numbers aren't intended to replace the other version.

- read the AP story
- check out the post at the WSJ Health Blog
- see the BNet item