Novartis AG Chairman Daniel Vasella, who spent more than two decades building Europe’s largest drugmaker, said he will step down next month because finding the right successors coincided with a good pipeline for the company and his own timing.
Pfizer Inc.’s Ian Read was the highest-paid chief executive officer at a large pharmaceutical company last year, as U.S. top managers remained on average much better paid than their European counterparts.
Novartis AG’s 72 million Swiss-franc ($78 million) payout to prevent outgoing chairman Daniel Vasella from working for a rival undermines the cause of campaigners fighting to avoid tougher curbs on executive pay in Switzerland.
Novartis AG scrapped a plan to pay outgoing Chairman Daniel Vasella as much as $78 million to keep him from working for rivals after details of the payout emerged days before a Swiss referendum on executive compensation.
Novartis AG is negotiating a consulting agreement with outgoing Chairman Daniel Vasella, the company’s top lawyer said three days after the drugmaker scrapped an accord to pay Vasella as much as $78 million for not competing with Novartis after he steps down today.
Novartis AG shareholders, disappointed with the company’s track record on acquisitions, are urging the new chairman to tear up some of the deals Daniel Vasella engineered in almost two decades building Europe’s largest drugmaker.
A Swiss prosecutor is probing Novartis AG’s former Chairman Daniel Vasella and other board members after two criminal complaints related to Vasella’s 72 million-Swiss franc ($75 million) payout were filed in Basel.