Pfizer CEO Read Received 44% Pay Increase With Promotion

Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ian Read received a 44 percent raise in total compensation last year to $25 million in his new role as head of the world’s largest drugmaker, according to a regulatory filing.

Read, 58, was paid $1.7 million in base salary, a $3.5 million cash bonus, stock and option awards, pension and other benefits. The cash bonus was $900,000 more than his target for the year, New York-based Pfizer said in the filing. Read’s total compensation was $17.4 million in 2010.

Pfizer topped its financial goals for 2011 and Read’s raise “adjusted his salary grade to reflect the change in his position to CEO,” the company said in its filing.

Read is shrinking Pfizer as he shifts the company into a new phase after its top-selling cholesterol pill Lipitor began facing generic competition last December. He also is planning to divest the animal health and nutritionals units and trimming overlaps from a decade of mega-mergers. The CEO said Pfizer will focus its research on five clinical areas, ending work on respiratory, allergy and gene-therapy treatments.

Pfizer’s board said company shareholders were upset by the $24.7 million final-year pay of former CEO Jeffrey Kindler, who left the company in December 2010 and was replaced by Read. The 2011 shareholder vote on executive pay passed with 56 percent compared with 96.8 percent the year before, the drugmaker’s board members said in their report about executive compensation included in the filing.

“The vote outcome was highly disappointing to Pfizer, its board of directors and its compensation committee,” the board said.

In response, the board said it had made compensation more performance-based for top executives. Read would be paid $22.4 million for “termination without cause,” or $32.6 million in case of a change in ownership of the company, according to the filing.

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