Frequent Flyer: Mylan Paid $536K for CEO to Use Private Jet for Personal Reasons

Last Updated Apr 5, 2011 1:52 PM EDT

Mylan (MYL) CEO Robert Coury took $536,000 in personal private jet flights on the company dime last year -- an excessive amount of vacation flying compared to his peers at larger companies. According to Mylan's proxy filing with the SEC, Mylan also paid the taxable value of those flights for Coury, meaning that the flights were completely free of charge to him. Mylan makes generic drugs and the EpiPen device for severe allergic reactions.

The drug industry is split on whether private aircraft flights for top executives' personal vacations are appropriate. Some companies require their bosses to fly privately for "security reasons." But many CEOs at similar companies are required to fly commercial like the rest of us (after all, airports don't lack security these days).

Among chief executives who are allowed to make personal use of private aircraft, Coury stands out. His jet use is more than five times that of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) CEO William Weldon and former Pfizer (PFE) CEO Jeff Kindler, who both worked for much larger companies. Weldon and Kindler got about $90,000 each last year in flights. Coury has increased his personal flying time by more than 50 percent since 2008. That year, his flying bill was just under $349,000.

The proxy gives no explanation for why its vacation policy is so generous. It doesn't apply to any other named executive at Mylan except president Heather Bresch, but she only racked up $9,239 in personal flying time. Mylan has, however, done well under Coury over the last few years. In 2010, revenue increased 7 percent to $5.4 billion, net income was up 40 percent to $345 million, and MYL went from $18.43 to $21.13 over the year. Coury was rewarded with a total pay package last year of $23 million, a 39 percent increase from the year before (click to enlarge):


Mylan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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