Johnson & Johnson CEO gets bigger bonus for 2011

AP News
Posted: Feb 24, 2012 6:02 PM
Johnson & Johnson CEO gets bigger bonus for 2011

Johnson & Johnson is bumping up the bonus of retiring CEO Bill Weldon by 55 percent for his performance in 2011.

The New Brunswick, N.J., company said Friday Weldon will get a bonus of $3.1 million, up from $2 million for his 2010 performance. Weldon's bonus and total compensation were cut last year as Johnson & Johnson suffered through a string of product recalls.

The health care products maker announced Tuesday that Weldon will retire as CEO on April 26. Alex Gorsky will become the company's new CEO and Weldon will remain company chairman. Gorsky is a vice chairman and the head of Johnson & Johnson's medical devices and diagnostics business.

Johnson & Johnson has issued around 30 product recalls since late 2009, pulling production lots of products like children's and adult's Tylenol, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Motrin, and prescription drugs including the HIV medicine Prezista and epilepsy pill Topamax off the market because of manufacturing problems. Earlier this month federal regulators signed a legally binding agreement with the company to oversee control of operations at three plants linked to the problems.

A year ago the company cut Weldon's bonus 45 percent. His total compensation decreased 9 percent, to $23.2 million, according to an Associated Press calculation. The board of directors appeared to tie most of the recall problems to Colleen Goggins, who was the chairwoman of the company's consumer products business before retiring in March 2011. Still, the board did not level any direct criticism at Goggins, instead praising her "distinguished career with the company."

Johnson & Johnson, which makes everything from Band-Aids to prescription drugs and medical devices, reported last month its fourth-quarter net income slid because of a slew of charges, but revenue rose, ending an unprecedented two-year decline.

Shares of the company fell 64 cents to close at $64.46. Over the past year, shares have traded between $57.50 and $68.05.