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Pfizer CEO Got Paid More for Healthcare-Reform Lobbying; Private Jet Was an Extra

Pfizer (PFE) gave CEO Jeff Kindler a raise in salary and bonuses in part because he was a good lobbyist on healthcare reform, according to the company's proxy filing with the SEC. He's also allowed to take the company's jets and helicopters on vacation.

Pfizer supported President Obama's reform plan, which include an $80 billion give-back in savings from the industry as a whole in return for a largely hands-off regulatory atmosphere in drug pricing and foreign competition. Obama's health reform plan is, of course, currently stuck in limbo. The company said of Kindler's achievements:

These efforts included constructive participation in the U.S. legislative process to advance Pfizer's goals of achieving a more rational operating environment; improving Americans' access to quality, affordable health care; preserving the doctor/patient relationship; and enhancing policies that promote innovation. Also, through both Pfizer and external organizations, he has sought to ensure the availability of safe medicines by opposing legislation that would allow for importation of prescription drugs that could jeopardize the integrity of the drug supply chain in the U.S.
Kindler's salary went from $1.6 million to $1.8 million in 2009, which increases the various target bonuses attached to it. "In addition, the grant value of Mr. Kindler's annual long-term incentive award was increased from $8.3 million to $12 million," the company said.

The company attributed most of Kindler's increased compensation to his acquisition of Wyeth, which will be accompanied by nearly 20,000 layoffs. Kindler's total compensation including stock and options was slightly down from last year:

Title, name, 2009 pay, 2008 pay

  • CEO Jeff Kindler $14.9 million, $15.5 million
  • CFO Frank D'Amelio $7.9 million, $6.9 million
  • President Ian Read $9.5 million, $7.6 million
  • R&D chief M. Mackay $5.9 million, $6.7 million
  • Chief medical officer F. Lewis-Hall $5 million, NA
Kindler still gets 20 hours of "personal use" flight time in the corporate jet (interior pictured) and helicopter, and spouses are allowed on board as well. He also gets a car and driver. Pfizer actually wants Kindler to fly exclusively on BlingAir:
As a result of the recommendations contained in an independent, third-party security study, the Board requires that Mr. Kindler travel on Company aircraft for personal travel to the maximum extent practicable.
Last year, Pfizer said it was looking to sell its jets (the ones with the gold-tassled cushions) -- but that seems to have been conveniently forgotten. Shareholders can console themselves with the information that Kindler must pay his own tax on any personal jet use.

The description of how Pfizer compensates its top executives is so complicated it takes nearly 40 pages of single-space type to describe. No wonder Pfizer also gives Kindler $10,000 of personal finance advice to help him figure it all out.

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