Sanofi shareholders slam big pay packages for chiefs Viehbacher, Brandicourt
- One-third of Sanofi's shareholders voted against resolutions for large pay-outs to former Sanofi chief Chris Viebacher, and current CEO, Olivier Brandicourt.
- The executive pay resolutions include a $5-million exit payout for Viebacher and an annual salary of $4.74 million for Brandicourt, as well as additional pension and incentive perks, bringing total compensation for the year up to the $10-million mark.
- The board has countered that in the case of Brandicourt, he lost a certain amount of remuneration and other benefits when he left Bayer Healthcare to join Sanofi.
Overall, the payouts Sanofi is giving to former and current executives pale in comparison to some of the payouts offered by other biopharma companies. For example, when David Brennan left AstraZeneca in 2012, he received a $65-million exit fee. Yet in France, where signing bonuses are not the norm, Brandicourt's welcome fee, along with his annual compensation, has irked investors. Yet despite the fact that many investors are not happy with the payouts, there was enough of a majority to pass both resolutions.