Friday, July 19, 2013

Worth every penny

Vasella to get $25,000 a day as Novartis consultant

Novartis has revealed details of what the Swiss major calls "a final agreement" with Daniel Vasella, which will see the departing chairman receive a lucrative consultancy contract.

Dr Vasella announced he was stepping down in February but the news that he was offered compensation worth up to 72 million Swiss francs to not work with competitors over the next six years caused uproar at the time. Despite offering to donate the net amount he received under the agreement for philanthropic activities, the agreement was cancelled.

Now Novartis says that for his services from February 22 through to October 31 this year,  Dr Vasella will receive 2.7 million francs in cash and shares worth 2.2 million francs. He has also signed a consulting agreement as of November 1 to the end of 2016 at a rate of $25,000 per day.

Dr Vasella is guaranteed an annual minimum fee of $250,000 for each of the three years. He will provide "specific consulting services, such as the coaching of high potential associates of Novartis and speeches at key Novartis events".

On a conference call for Novartis' second-quarter results, chief executive Joe Jimenez said he wants Dr Vasella to continue his mentoring programmes with more junior employees "which have been very impactful". The latter has also been named honorary chairman of Novartis but Mr Jimenez stressed that he will not be attending board meetings nor be sent the minutes.

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