Ex-Fisons boss was paid pounds 133,000 for owed holidays: Chairman had no compensation for loss of office

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The Independent Online
JOHN KERRIDGE, former chairman and chief executive of the troubled drug company Fisons, collected more than pounds 133,000 in lieu of unclaimed holidays when he resigned on health grounds early last year.

The figure, contained in the 1992 annual report published yesterday, suggests that Mr Kerridge, who earned pounds 343,356 in 1991, had amassed more than four months' worth of unclaimed holiday during the 25 years he worked for the company.

But 58-year-old Mr Kerridge, who quit Fisons 14 days into 1992 with a suspected heart condition, received no compensation for loss of office. His total emoluments in 1992, including the holiday pay, were pounds 145,864.

The annual report also shows that two directors requested that payments owed to them worth a total of pounds 113,712 should be transferred to third parties.

A spokesman for Fisons said that one of the directors worked full-time for a different company, which insisted any amounts earned from other companies should be paid over to it. In the other case, the director had asked that his pay be given to a charity.

Patrick Egan, Fisons' new non-executive chairman, was paid pounds 150,444 in 1992. Its highest-paid director, believed to be Cedric Scroggs, who became chief executive after the roles were split on Mr Kerridge's departure, earned pounds 256,743.

The company made no performance-related bonus payments last year. Over the past 18 months Fisons has faced a succession of woes, beginning with the decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to ban two of its products.

The problems led to profit warnings, shareholder criticism of the management and a tumbling share price. A number of senior managment figures have left, although at the time of Mr Kerridge's departure the company stressed it was prompted not by pressure but by illness.

The US subsidiaries of Fisons and the French drug group Rhone-Poulenc Rorer are to co-promote two asthma treatment drugs, RPR's Azmacort and Fisons' Tilade.