The CEO of recall-plagued Johnson & Johnson took a 7% pay cut last year. Ouch! He had to feed his family on $28.7 million? Mercifully, he got a 3% pay raise in February.
Big picture, it is hard to know how much of J&J’s problems rest with its CEO just like it is hard to tell how many of our economic problems were caused by President Obama or President Bush. But the game is scored by what happens on your watch. Since J&J’s CEO took the helm 9 years ago, the wheels have fallen off the cart. J&J’s drugs and medical devices have gained the interest of not just plaintiffs’ drug injury lawyers. There have been investigations by various government bodies, including a House committee, the FDA, and even a criminal probe by the feds. Arguably, you and I could run the company for half of his salary – I might even go down to $10 million – and create a similarly situated mess.