As Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) looks to rebrand itself as a patient-first drugmaker -- following months of criticism surrounding price hikes to several of its products -- the company has unveiled a peek into the compensation plan of its new CEO, Joseph Papa.
In a filing with the SEC, Valeant said Papa's compensation will include a variety of restricted stock options tied to a so-called "vesting accelerator" that will reward the company's progress on fronts such as government and customer relations and succession planning.
Valeant shares are down 73% so far this year, after having entered a tailspin last fall over allegations that the drugmaker hiked prices on necessary medications to exorbitant levels. The damage to Valeant shareholders was compounded by accounting probes into Valeant's revenue bookkeeping tied to its former partnership with mail-order pharmacy Philidor. (Valeant has so far admitted to $58 million of improperly recorded sales.)
In its filing with the SEC this week, Valeant noted it has found itself caught in a "challenging period," in which shares are down 73% so far this year, and that its nine recently appointed directors on the board, along with Papa, will make a "significant change" in re-establishing the trust of patients and hospitals.
Papa's base salary, subject to confirmation by Valeant's board, will be $1.5 million -- down from $2 million for Valeant's former CEO, Michael Pearson -- and Papa will have the potential to earn $2.25 million in additional compensation, 25% tied to "strategic goals." His payout also includes $8 million to compensate for the equity compensation he is leaving behind from his position as CEO of Irish drugmaker Perrigo (PRGO).
Valeant's compensation has been monitored closely lately, with analysts at Wells Fargo Capital lowering their valuation on Valeant stock last week to $27-$31 from $30-$31, largely based on risks of future controversy tied to Valeant's planned bonuses for its managers, many of whom directly oversaw the company's drug-pricing operations.
The analysts cited a $1 million cash retention bonus to CFO Robert Rosiello, as well as a $2.8 million "special equity award," despite that over his tenure Valeant "lowered guidance substantially, disclosed material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting and became subject to an SEC investigation."