Novartis withdraws 'golden gag' of $78m
Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical group, has withdrawn plans to pay its outgoing chairman a “golden gag” of $78 million for a consulting and non-compete agreement over the coming six years. The news of the original package last Friday to Daniel Vasella triggered sharp protests in Switzerland just as the country is gearing up for a vote on whether to impose stricter checks on executive pay.
Ulrich Lehner, vice-chairman of Novartis, said: “The board and Dr Vasella agreed to cancel the non-compete agreement and to forgo all compensation linked to his non-compete.
“We continue to believe in the value of a non-compete. However, we believe the decision to cancel the agreement and all related compensation addresses the concerns of shareholders and other stakeholders.” – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013