Schering goodbye pay dwarfs Merck CEO's 2009 compensation

It may have been a good year for dealmaking at Merck in 2009, but that wasn't good enough to keep CEO Richard Clark's (photo) pay up to 2008 levels. Not even close, actually. Clark's total compensation came in at $16.8 million, according to the proxy statement filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

That's quite a drop from the $25 million-plus he made the previous year. A 32.8 percent drop, to be specific. In fact, Clark's 2009 pay came in lower than 2007's. That year he was compensated to the tune of $19.1 million.

Here's how his 2009 package breaks down, for SEC disclosure purposes: His $1.8 million base salary was just a fraction higher than in 2008, while his stock awards and option awards each dropped by several million, to land at $4.38 million and $2.8 million, respectively. In 2008, both those numbers were more than $6 million. The only number that grew was non-equity incentive pay, which was $2.85 million last year, up from $2.2 million the year before.

By contrast, take a look at the Schering-Plough executives who left after the two companies merged last year. They walked away with massive pay packages, thanks to "golden handshake" deals that were part of their pay agreements with Schering. So, according to the SEC filing, CEO Fred Hassan earned $49.65 million in 2009, while EVP Carrie Cox took away $32.3 million and EVP Thomas Koestler left with $24.56 million. But ex-CFO Robert Bertolini beat them all: His 2009 pay ended up as $53 million.

- read the Merck proxy statement

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