Schering to ask shareholders about exec pay

Schering-Plough plans to ask shareholders what they think about the paychecks collected by Fred Hassan, et al. Yep, investors will get a chance to weigh in via a questionnaire mailed with the 2009 proxy. And they'll get to see the results, too--just not till 2010, in the compensation, discussion and analysis section of that year's proxy statement.

"This survey is evidence of our commitment to seek and consider shareholder input, as we did in 2006 with the shareholder survey on majority voting for directors," said Pat Russo, who chairs the board's nominating and corporate governance committee, in a statement found on S-P's governance website by Pharmalot. And governance experts say this is a good step, particularly the inclusion of shareholder comments in the CD&A.

Pharmalot conjectures that Schering-Plough is hoping to head off annual votes on executive comp, although the company did not indicate how often it intends to conduct its pay survey. That blog's question--and ours, too--is how the subject of options and bonuses given Hassan will be handled, and how shareholders will react.

- read the Pharmalot post