15 December 2011

The "one percent" win another one as health care CEOs clean up

As the Occupy Wall Street Movement campaigns against the unfair distribution of wealth in the United States, the "one percent" they hold accountable just keep on raking it in. According to the latest survey, American CEOs enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40 percent last year. Meanwhile, wages for the majority of Americans continue to lag inflation.

Surprisingly, the top earners weren't bankers. The big winner was John Hammergren, CEO of McKesson Corporation, the world’s largest health care firm. He "earned" $145,266,971 last year, most of it in stock options and perks. Runner-up was Joel F. Gemunder, CEO of Omnicare, the U.S.'s largest provider of pharmaceutical care for the elderly. He only managed $98,283,242.

Hammergren could, however, really hit the jackpot. If McKesson Corporation is sold, he is due a $469-million payoff. Not bad, a half-billion dollar reward for getting rid of your company.

With President Obama's new medicare legislation neatly designed to favour health care and pharmaceutical companies, these two industries can look forward to producing many more winners in the future.

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