SEC scolds BMS, Baxter on exec pay

On a mission for more info on how companies set top execs' pay, the SEC has been pushing for details--and now it's knocking on doors at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boston Scientific, and Baxter. Here's the skinny:

  • Why is compensation for BMS' executive vice presidents set to increase by 50 percent, and other officials are getting 25 percent bigger deals? The company says it needed to bring pay in line with salaries at peer firms.
  • Boston Scientific needs to analyze how executive compensation was determined, exactly, the SEC says. How tough has it been for execs to meet their performance targets? Plus, just what is this "executive allowance?" The company says the allowance is exactly what it sounds like: A lump sum cash payment. It's made, the company says, in lieu of perks that execs get at other companies. Must be nice.
  • Baxter also needs to be more forthcoming about every element of executive compensation, the SEC says, asking for details on metrics, incentives, and the rationale behind various dollar amounts. That's lots of info. Baxter wasn't very cooperative; it said it would include more details in its future SEC filings.

- check out the item in the Wall Street Journal Health Blog
- read the WSJ's comprehensive coverage of the SEC's quest