Roche chief to overhaul Genentech pay

Will Roche's buyout end up paying off for Genentech employees? Could be. The Financial Times reports that Roche CEO Severin Schwan (photo) plans to recast the pay structure for employees at the U.S. unit. On tap: A bigger chunk of compensation paid in long-term stock options.

Schwan says getting that pay plan right is one of his top priorities for 2010, and that he aims to make the Genentech packages "entrepreneurial." The better to be "attractive and relevant to the specific environment in California," my dear.

As the FT points out, Schwan's efforts on Genentech pay will have to balance a.) Roche's control over the once-freewheeling biotech; and b.) Genentech's need to retain the brilliant scientists responsible for so much of Roche's global sales. Hence the plan to give Genentech folks more incentive-based pay than Roche people in other countries get.

"If you want a person who always plays it safe, probably they should not work for Genentech," Schwan told the paper. "But I think if would be wrong to import the U.S. system to the rest of the world."

- see the FT piece
- get more from Reuters