By Peter Loftus
The outgoing leader of biotechnology company Amgen Inc. (AMGN) could receive payments and deferred compensation totaling more than $49 million after he retires.
Kevin Sharer, 64, plans to step down as chief executive in May and as chairman at the end of 2012, after more than a decade at the helm of the Thousand Oaks, Calif., company. President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Bradway, 49, will succeed Sharer as CEO.
Sharer isn't the only retiring drug company CEO to be poised for hefty post-retirement payments. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) disclosed earlier this month that the estimated value of William Weldon's pension and deferred compensation was more than $143 million. Weldon is stepping down as CEO in April but will remain chairman for an undisclosed period.
In a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Amgen provided details about payments and deferred compensation that Sharer could receive after retirement. The figures are estimated values as of Dec. 31, 2011, and the actual values could change by the time he retires.
One category of post-retirement payments had an estimated current value of $26.9 million as of Dec. 31. These include: $6.6 million in accelerated unvested stock options; $7.8 million in accelerated unvested restricted stock units; and $12.6 million for the value of performance units for the years 2010 to 2013.
Restricted stock units are convertible into Amgen shares upon vesting, while performance units are rights to receive shares based on pre-established performance goals achieved over a period typically lasting three years.
Some of these amounts were calculated using the closing price of Amgen shares on Dec. 31, of $64.21. The stock ended Friday's trading up 4 cents at $66.66.
In addition, Sharer will be able to collect deferred compensation that had an aggregate balance of $22.5 million as of Dec. 31. This includes contributions to his retirement plan and portions of compensation from previous years that Sharer was permitted to defer.
Amgen spokeswoman Christine Regan noted that the $22.5 million balance included money Sharer had previously earned, as well as contributions from a company retirement program that is available to all regular U.S. Amgen employees.
Sharer won't be paid severance upon retirement, Regan said. Sharer will continue to collect his salary through the end of May and is entitled to a prorated portion of his 2012 bonus.
For 2011, Sharer's total compensation was valued at $18.9 million, down 11% from the $21.1 million value of his compensation for 2010 mainly because of a decline in the value of option awards.
Elements of Sharer's 2011 compensation included: $1.8 million in base salary, $9 million in stock awards, $2.4 million in option awards and $4.9 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation.
Amgen's incoming CEO Bradway received compensation valued at $7.1 million for 2011, down from $7.8 million for 2010.
This month, the compensation committee of Amgen's board approved a 36% increase in Bradway's base salary to $1.4 million in connection with his promotion to CEO.
-By Peter Loftus, Dow Jones Newswires; 215-982-5581; firstname.lastname@example.org