Novartis AG shareholders have approved all the board’s proposals at the Swiss pharma group’s AGM in Basel today, including re-election of chairman and CEO Daniel Vasella into the company’s board for another three-year term. Vasella received 93.6 pct of votes, slightly less then the 97.6 pct with which the company’s board was discharged.
Vasella has in the past been criticised over his dual mandate as well as the size of his salary and his potential golden parachute if Novartis is taken over by one of its competitors. While Novartis’ share price has more or less stagnated over the past six years, Vasella’s annual salary has risen to 44 mln sfr ($39.95 million).
Forbes calls it a “dual mandate.” PharmaGossip just calls it a “man with two salaries.” As they say, a two-headed snake is harder to kill.
As for the golden parachute, the board did try to appease stockholders with a new deal that isn’t quite as generous as the previous one. Of course, everything’s relative. As Pharmalot puts it: “No parachute, but he’s certain to have a soft landing, anyway.”6