According to Peter Rost:
Newspapers were filled with information about Dr. McKinnell’s $82 million pension package this spring. Shareholders were upset that Dr. McKinnell would receive this amount considering that Pfizer’s stock had lost 37% of its value during Dr. McKinnell’s tenure. Dr. McKinnell claimed that this wasn’t his fault. He said that the stock had been overvalued when he took over. He didn’t say that shareholders had been stupid, but in essence that is the conclusion…
What Dr. McKinnell and Pfizer kept as their own little secret is that the $82 million retirement package wasn’t all this CEO had coming his way. Dr. McKinnell got canned from his CEO job in July 2006, almost two years before he was scheduled to step down, under pressure from investors angered about his retirement package and lack of performance. Dr. McKinnell then “decided” to retire from his chairman job a few months early, on December 18, 2006, so Pfizer has now been forced to file an 8-K statement.
Turns out Dr. McKinnell had a few more dollars stashed away: $78 million in deferred pay to be exact, and $38 million in stock and severance payments. So congratulations are appropriate. Not every CEO can set investors straight; cut the share price in half, and take off with $198 million in his knapsack. That takes a certain kind of talent.