PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: Open letter to Pfizer's CEO
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PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.

Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Pfizer Marketing Vice President providing services as a medical device and drug expert witness and pharmaceutical marketing expert. Judge Sanders: "The court agrees with defendants' view that Dr. Rost is a very adept and seasoned expert witness." He is also the author of Emergency Surgery, The Whistleblower and Killer Drug. You can reach him on rostpeter (insert symbol) hotmail.com. Please read the terms of use agreement and privacy policy for this blog carefully.

Open letter to Pfizer's CEO

Dear Jeff,

You made $11 million last year, you just fired 10,000 employees, and you got a 36% raise this year.

And that's the problem.

You can't cut back and fire ten thousand hardworking people, and tell them about the new management style you're bringing to the company, and then accept a 36% raise in base pay.

That makes you lose credibility. (And I'm not even taking into account how you fell flat on your face, trying to hype torcetrapib.)

Your predecessor was shipped out of Pfizer dressed in tar and feathers, holding his $200 million grab bag, to the sound of employees and shareholders chanting "Give it back, Hank." The WSJ even wrote an article with the headline "Off with their heads," based on Pfizer's executive pay for non-performance.

If you read what your employees are saying, such as this, you will realize you just lost their respect; they've stopped calling you Kindler and replaced that with Swindler.

And without those employees and their support, you are just one man, putting his legs into his pants, one at a time, like the rest of us.

Without the support of your employees, you will fail, just like your predecessor.

Jeff, please act like a leader: Don't accept the raise.

You already made $11.4 million in 2006. You can afford to do the right thing.

Best regards,
Peter Rost

Labels: , ,

54 Comments:

Blogger Rick Sparks said...

Eventually, there will be a law against this kind of scalping.

And there will be much rejoicing.

3/17/2007  
Blogger Joan Russo, Ph.D. said...

I totally agree. I can't listen to the news anymore, because each CEO that cheats the working class stock holders goes on my shit list. I am getting old, and I can't remember lists.. quite that long :)

Do the CEOs really think the PUBLIC is that stupid? On the other hand, I just don't think they give a shit what the public thinks, since, of course, they are so anti-social that they can seek SOLSTICE and sleep at night. Others of us, have a harder time.

Please excuse this rant.

JR

3/17/2007  
Anonymous greenskeeper said...

< sarcasm >
How are they going to pay for that R&D for new pills now?
< /sarcasm >

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHH :)

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop whining...
If you're not happy with them...
Stop buying their pproducts, sell the stocks that you have, tell all your friends to do so...
That's capitalism...
You want that, it's opportunity!
You all dream to have this kind of power but you were not an "ALPHA" so keep dreaming or change the way it works...
Rich people are not the majority...

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...they can seek SOLSTICE and sleep at night."

LOL... ph.d eh?

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In his pay raise this year alone that would pay for between 50-75 employees that he laid off.

This is just sick. This is why companies like Apple are doing well now. You have a leader (Jobs) who is willing to show his employees what he is made of by only taking $1 salaries/year. He makes his money off stock options which is directly tied to how the company is doing.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, I guess it would be better to jeopardize the job-security of the remaining 98,000 employees. Better to screw 108,000 people than just cut loose 10,000. In the meantime, his burden is keeping a huge company solvent so he can continue to allow his employees to put food on their tables. If even half of those people have families, Pfizer is directly responsible for about a quarter-million people's well-being. That kind of responsibility deserves compensation.

And never mind Pfizer's spending more than $7 billion annually on R&D. You know, trying to find cures for cancer, AIDS and everything else. Go bash banks or oil, Pfizer is saving lives and working to save more every day.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter you post a valid complaint, but the shareholders have power over this and his pay/performance is satisfactory to them. There are a lot of reasons behind his decision that are not public to us, of which he based his decision on. I'm sure it did not come easy. If you feel so strongly against this pay raise, take it up with the shareholders and have them enter a vote to overrule the board of directors who most likely decided the pay increase. The CEO ultimately works for the shareholders.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be a dumbass. Money is fucking money. Fuck the people, take that damn money.

3/17/2007  
Blogger Brandon S. said...

"And never mind Pfizer's spending more than $7 billion annually on R&D. You know, trying to find cures for cancer, AIDS and everything else."

No they are not working on finding cures. They only attempt to treat the disease. They can't keep you coming back if they cure them.

3/17/2007  
Blogger Dean Collins said...

Al Dunlap used to say if the previous CEO didn't hire too many people he would still have hi job and I wouldn't have had to come in and fire them in the first place.

11 million is a lot of money but dont be a whiner just because you're not making it.

If you dont think the company is doing a good job dont buy their stock (or better still buy more but vote against the pay rise with all the other shareholders/company owners).

Personally I'd prefer to follow a leader who can cut 10,000 people but save the other 100,000 other jobs.

Cheers,
Dean Collins
www.collins.net.pr/blog

3/17/2007  
Blogger Peter Rost said...

Shareholders have the power to change this? Are you smoking something? Every proposal by shareholders to have more accountability is voted down . . Why? Because most shares are held by fund companies who do other business with management. And they don't want to rock the boat. It is not a free market, its all a cheating game, just like the alumni and rich kids getting into Harvard.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Reb said...

" his burden is keeping a huge company solvent so he can continue to allow his employees to put food on their tables."


and by Refusing his own pay increase he helps that goal.
to lay off any amount of people to "reduce costs" and then take a pay increase yourself is WRONG.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And never mind Pfizer's spending more than $7 billion annually on R&D. You know, trying to find cures for cancer, AIDS and everything else. Go bash banks or oil, Pfizer is saving lives and working to save more every day."

Oh please, don't try to make us shed a tear for the pharma companies... If they are so interested in finding cures for cancer and AIDs why do they keep coming out with cures for erectile disfunction, hair loss, etc...

They could of got vaccins for a bunch of terible killing disease like malaria done years ago but an old white man's erection is more important then a black or asian babie's life to the pharma industry...I'm pretty sure it has to do with the difference in the size of their wallets...

3/17/2007  
Blogger Ardor said...

To the anonymous who said stop using the products, sell all the stock, etc etc.

Tell that to the cancer victims who are bleeding out their life savings and over-utilizing their insurance plans so that they can utilize the products of a company with this kind of practice. They pay for the executive officers to have bonuses, not for the R&D.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And never mind Pfizer's spending more than $7 billion annually on R&D. You know, trying to find cures for cancer, AIDS and everything else. Go bash banks or oil, Pfizer is saving lives and working to save more every day."

Wow, $7 billion an R&D. That's funny tho, because google finance (http://finance.google.com/finance?q=PFE) seems to say that they still managed to make a net income of $19 337 000 000 USD in 2006. Yes that's $19 billion in net income.

So basically they could either do more R&D, or sell their meds cheaper, or both.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few would last even twenty minutes in his shoes. Don't pretend to relate -- you can't, unless you've been in a position of such responsibility yourself. Gangrene limbs must go. Nixing thousands to preserve tens of thousands is often a requirement to secure the long-term viability of a business. Those experienced enough to craft and execute such plans absolutely deserve the compensation that they negotiated when they took a seat at the helm. Jeff: keep the money, you earned it.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous The Founder said...

Bill Lumberg can see his stock go up a quarter of a percent

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if you own the company you should be able to take whatever kind of salary you feel you deserve, if you don't like it - start your own company and compete!

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost like magic everyone starts to think they came do a better job than a CEO of a large corporation. Lets not forget that none of you have seen the any of the market projections or the companies balance sheet. If you don't think people should be fired then go to Europe where their red hot economy should be able to find a place for you

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does cutting jobs have anything to do with it? Companies don't have a fixed amount they spend on compensation each year.

Should he not be compensated if he makes the company more profitable?

The other thing you fail to understand is that that pay is meant to retain the CEO. A good executive these days can be hard to come by, and if Pfizer doesn't pay him what he is worth then they risk losing him to another company.

Get a doctorate in economics, then maybe people will give a shit what you think about executive compensation.

3/17/2007  
Blogger Vinay said...

Rightly Said! But realize that America loves and embraces such ridiculous pay packets. This does not happen in Europe.

Vinay

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why dont you communists go back to your bread line. This is America, we are a CAPITALIST country. This is how things work.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corporations do not exist to provide employment to people. They exist to make profit!! If by laying off 10000 employees he saved the company 100+ million then his pay raise is justified in the eyes of shareholders getting some money back in dividend. Or maybe they saved a lot of cash so that they could move work overseas.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the only justification I can come up with is that it is better value than paying seven-footers to play kids games.
FWD

3/17/2007  
Blogger Jacques Chavez said...

This is kind of pay will continue, regardless of company performance. Anonymous had it right a few posts above. This is a capitalist country.. you won't see our government stepping in and putting limits on the income of anyone.

If you want to talk about something more interesting, check out my take on old guys taking shits at work.

3/17/2007  
Blogger jigs said...

This is the most irresponsible post I've seen in a while. What would you suggest? Paying less for a less-qualified CEO whose bad decisions might cost 20 or 30 thousand jobs instead?

This is why doctors should stay in the hospital and out of the boardroom.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever. The CEO can be paid as much as they want to pay him. It isn't up to "the public", much less the employees. And for all the moral outrage over it, will even ONE of you people posting here actually DO ANYTHING about it ?

Didn't think so. How funny.

What a bunch of ineffectual whiners you all are.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Rost,

I think your argument is incomplete. Who exactly were these 10,000 people? What were their functions within the company?

Were they overvalued HPLC monkeys or were they arrogant do-nothing ivy league doctors? If so, then consider the 'firing' of 10,000 workers as merely an injection of 'talent' in the marketplace with a high demand for people with experience with drug development.

With an educational system outputting mindless little careerists out for the easy kill I wouldn't be surprised that there would be mass adjustments. Let there be more!

Your terse reasoning is simply not satisfying.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice boo-fuckin-hoo angle.

The rent-a-marxists will never be satisfied until everyone gets Russian black bread.

Then, we'll all be happy because we'll all be the same.

In our hovels and riding in wheelbarrows!

Envy makes bad policy, shitsmears.

Grow the hell up and read Atlas Shrugged fer keerying out loud.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would only make him lose credibility if he was paid by the shareholders to maximize the number of employees working for him, which clearly he is not, and should not be. He is paid to maximize profits, and having an extra 10,000 employees on the payroll while his competitors don't and won't can only lead to inefficiency, lower returns for shareholders (which include little old ladies and many regular folk, as these people own a bit of the company through personal stock holdings or through mutual funds (directly or indirectly through pension/retirement)), and ultimately, the demise of the company.

It doesn't seem "fair" but life isn't fair, and the alternative is actually more unfair. Leaving these employees on the payroll would be least fair of all - they should find new jobs where they are contributing positively to the bottom line. - TRUTH

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they were worthless employees. In that case he should get a large bonus for cutting the fat.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all the "tough guys" complaining about whining...

Under an honest money standard, i.e. a gold standard, this would not have happened.

When money is dishonest, society crumbles.

Money and credit is expanding 10% a year. Is your salary going up 10% a year?

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen several people attempt to defend this sort of obvious scalping over the years by saying that it's "necessary" to pay this kind of money to attract a competent CEO.

Two questions:
1) Why is it necessary? Do you have any actual evidence that it IS necessary?
2) What's your definition of a competent CEO?

3/17/2007  
Anonymous heknows4hesawitall said...

Doc, you have some talent. With this post that I completely support, you managed to draw out from their holes, both the neo-cons and some of Jeff's friends.
It is amazing how these people can and have the stomach to support such ugly event/incident of many, even by standards of American dog-eat-dog capitalism.
If any of these commentators think that any big pharma company "deserves" to be awashed with the kind of $$$ they have and the kind of $$$ they hand out to their CEO.s and others (look at pharmalot)they themselves should go back to school and re-learn economics.
The only reason the big pharma commands that kind of returns is the fact that they are selling life saving and life alterning products at the prices "they, patients are willing and have to pay" to have their lives saved or altered.
There is no other industry that can do that, not even food. On top, they also use all kinds of illegal and unethical MO, including false claims, bribery,and you name it, they do it. Look at Pfizer's $480 million fine, BMS $490 million and so on. How many have not been caught or exposed yet??
Do they sincerely believe that CEO.s of these big pharma companies, did not know about the misconduct? They did and many gave the orders that trickled down the whole food chain of thier managements. This misconduct is planned,deliberate ,approved and so on by the very top of big pharma cos.
If the neo-con commentators say this is OK in our system then they only prove that what we all know: the big pharma is MOB-LIKE and maybe even more.
We: "Big pharma you are just like them".
Big pharma: " No we are not like them, WE ARE THEM".
Joe Pistone would approve.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand people who defend this kind of behavior either. And unfortunately I doubt there will ever be any laws against it since those with the money wield the power of lawmakers. So no I don't own stock in a crap company like this and thankfully I don't need to take medication. But what I can do is vote for politicians that won't take a bribe or are in somebody's pocket.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see anyone saying anything about the stock holders who benefitted from the $19,000,0000,000 in profits because of his cost cutting and management. Also, remember this, no profit, no capital, no R&D, no drugs. More profit, more investment, more capital, more R&D, more breakthroughs, more drugs. It is that simple.

3/17/2007  
Anonymous Jace said...

Anyone defending this kind of behavior needs to snap out of their money induced haze and get back to reality. Money shouldn't be the pissing contest that it's turned into here in America. If you have more money than you can spend, especially at someone else's expense, and you don't use at least some of that money to help those less fortunate, you're a greedy, selfish asshole and you don't deserve the life you have, even if you worked hard to get it. Money can help a lot of people and make lives a lot better the way America is, and instead of allocating it to the people who could use it the most (the poor, the sick, the elderly, or even [gasp] the average working class people who still aren't making a decent income) its given to a tiny fraction of the population, and they either horde it or spend it while people all over the world are going hungry, dying of stupid, simple things like the common cold, or lack of water, things we take for granted in first world countries, or working 50 hour weeks and barely scraping by. These are the people who need that money, not this guy, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to spend a few years with an empty (truly empty) stomach, which money like this could easily cure.

Nobody is saying that the guy doesn't deserve the salary - he might have done a hell of a job. What everyone is saying is that he's getting a 37% raise on his $11 million salary, and meanwhile, the company just laid off 10,000 people. If you take 37% of 11 million, that's $4,070,000. Instead of laying 10,000 people off, why not let some of those people keep their jobs? Does this guy really NEED another 4 million, while other people who may not be able to afford unemployment are out of work? I don't care what kind of a good job he did - if the company has to lay off 10,000 people, and he could reverse even a small number of those layoffs by saying, "you know what? 11 million is plenty for me, have your salary back," then he's morally obligated to do so. Taking the raise when other people's well being is on the line is greedy, selfish, and wrong.

Fuck good business sense. Only in America would we compliment or defend someone on their business prowess while 10,000 people lose their jobs. It's sad. People need to get back in touch with reality.

3/18/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this type of thing makes me mad. I love the United States. I love capitalism. I just wish people were more responsible with it.

The way corporations work make me wish there was no stock market, and no such thing as shares. That a company can exist solely to make money for people who don't even WORK for the company, but just throw money at it, is absurd. A companies profits should come from customers, and go to employees. Not from customers to investors, who then decide if the employees see any of it.

I'm sure my ignorance of economics is showing pretty clear hear, but whatever, it still makes me mad that there exists this top class that makes their money simply on a foundation of previous money, rather than work. Sure, at some point that money was worked for, but for that work to keep someone a millionaire/billionaire for so long with so little maintanence? POPPYCOCK!

3/18/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you a moron? This is what he gets paid to do. The CEOs job is to make the company profitable.

In almost any organization there are jobs that can be cut. Pfizer can no longer just hire a bunch of people just because they're making huge profits.

3/18/2007  
Blogger Masked Righty said...

I agree that CEO's regularly treat themselves to raises and bonuses, even after firing thousands and not turning a profit. But who among us peons wouldn't do the same, given the chance? The real fault lies with the Board of Directors, who fail to hold CEO's accountable. The Compensation structure for CEO's needs to be the same as it is for everyone below the executive level. Pay for performance. If the company doesn't do well, you don't get the raise or bonus. And to all the CEO's out there who really want to turn their companies around; Show some integrity, refuse the raise and bonus, when the company doesn't meet it's targets. Show some leadership. This will show your employees, that you are willing to share in the pain. You might be suprised with the results..

3/18/2007  
Anonymous heknows said...

All right, more reasnable people with understanding of human conditions are back. This kind of discourse is a good thing and one can see why those who would like to change this vital industry for all of us, to the better can not do it easily. There are still strong forces who believe in the laws of the jungle that lets those with most of the strenght dominate and the hell with the others. What is really strange about the pharma industry that even though its main goal is to improve the human conditions they often do not care for the humanity at all. Yes they produce good,bad and ugly drugs that help us, employ and pay well their employees and jadajadajada, but in essence they have completely abandoned the ethical ways of the traditiona pharma industry that the big pharma evolved from. Once they did that they joined the rest of the big business like, oil, banks, insurance etc in the way they do business. Should I say more?
Can this be changed? Not easily but at least in USA you have some good laws to hit them if they get caught overdoing their thing. In canada we don't have that and "our" big pharma companies with exactly same names as yours, get away with almost any type of misconduct, including false claims, bribery, you name it. There is no goverment's agency that would go after them, all they get is small nominal fine from their own industry regulating bodies. Sort of paying memebership into the body that protects them and apologises for their actions.Does this remind you of some other organization that insists on pyments for providing protection?
We will try to change this. At this time there is a major work in progress to expose one of the most blatant violations of any and every rule in our country. This done by one of the 5 biggest ones in the business. This Co has never been caught in USA or any other major country inspite of (for sure) violating all the rules of all the countries. Keep watching it may be very interesting.

3/18/2007  
Anonymous heknows said...

All right, more reasnable people with understanding of human conditions are back. This kind of discourse is a good thing and one can see why those who would like to change this vital industry for all of us, to the better can not do it easily. There are still strong forces who believe in the laws of the jungle that lets those with most of the strenght dominate and the hell with the others. What is really strange about the pharma industry that even though its main goal is to improve the human conditions they often do not care for the humanity at all. Yes they produce good,bad and ugly drugs that help us, employ and pay well their employees and jadajadajada, but in essence they have completely abandoned the ethical ways of the traditiona pharma industry that the big pharma evolved from. Once they did that they joined the rest of the big business like, oil, banks, insurance etc in the way they do business. Should I say more?
Can this be changed? Not easily but at least in USA you have some good laws to hit them if they get caught overdoing their thing. In canada we don't have that and "our" big pharma companies with exactly same names as yours, get away with almost any type of misconduct, including false claims, bribery, you name it. There is no goverment's agency that would go after them, all they get is small nominal fine from their own industry regulating bodies. Sort of paying memebership into the body that protects them and apologises for their actions.Does this remind you of some other organization that insists on pyments for providing protection?
We will try to change this. At this time there is a major work in progress to expose one of the most blatant violations of any and every rule in our country. This done by one of the 5 biggest ones in the business. This Co has never been caught in USA or any other major country inspite of (for sure) violating all the rules of all the countries. Keep watching it may be very interesting.

3/18/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>This is just sick. This is why companies like Apple are doing well now. You have a leader (Jobs) who is willing to show his employees what he is made of by only taking $1 salaries/year. He makes his money off stock options which is directly tied to how the company is doing.

Oh yeah you are right here... Read this for the NeXT entry in Wikipedia:

"On December 20, 1996, Apple Computer announced its intention to purchase NeXT for approximately US$400 million in cash (returned to the initial investors) and 1.5 million Apple shares, which went to Steve Jobs[34] The main purpose of the acquisition was to use NeXTSTEP as a foundation to replace the outdated Mac OS. Apple preferred this move to either the pursuit of in-house Copland efforts or the purchase of BeOS. Jobs returned to Apple as a consultant in 1997, and then became the interim CEO[35] In 2000, he took the CEO position full-time.[36]"

Jobs can afford to take a salary of one dollar because 400 million went to him when he went back to Apple. Sure it worked out fine, but let's be real here this was just as bad as any other CEO. Oh, but wait its Steve Jobs and that makes it OK...

3/19/2007  
Blogger Dan said...

People, grow up. This is business -- and it's thanks to business you have all the nice things you have now for as cheap as they are.

Stop whining about perceived injustice.

3/20/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Half you people are making me fucking sick reading all you're bullshit comments about capitolism and justifying his salary/bonuses. I'm on the inside, I see the wretched waste and mis-management. Complete dis-regard for their own people. How can you take care of other people when you can't even take care of your own? Try being honest when you answer that. It's archaic. The top 5 layers of this company should be shit-canned and replaced with an above average scientist that knows how to do science.

3/23/2007  
Blogger Brandon S. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/26/2007  
Blogger Brandon S. said...

I say it loud and proud

F**K Capitalism!

You people who try to justify the amount this man makes make me sick.

He earns more than an officer who puts his life on the line daily. He earns more than men and women who run into burning buildings to save children and adults. He makes ENOUGH f**king money to feed a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE who deserve food in their stomachs every day but can't afford it. He is the very reason you'll know one day, why corporate capitalist America is a house slowly collapsing upon itself.

3/26/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a wicked commentary about CEO compensation at:

http://cantankerousconsultant.blogspot.com/2007/04/save-salary-movement-begun-by-corporate.html

4/08/2007  
Blogger micky said...

See America is a capitalist country..This kind of pay will continue, regardless of company performance or other factors. Hey you Anonymous don't you see our government stepping in and putting limits on the income of anyone.What' s your comment now !!!!!!!
Nick (Newbee here from custom web site design

5/23/2007  
Anonymous mrShop said...

Very interesting!

8/02/2007  
Anonymous psp games said...

Is that for real??

8/17/2008  
Anonymous Yuhana said...

Wow...........

Yuhana

9/09/2008  

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