Glaxo chief received package worth pounds 4.75m

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SIR Richard Sykes, chairman of Glaxo Wellcome, received a total package of salary and shares worth more than pounds 4.75m last year despite presiding over a fall in profits and failing to seal a merger with SmithKline Beecham.

His total remuneration rose more than 50 per cent to pounds 1.7m, including a performance bonus of pounds 826,000, according to the group's annual report.

Sir Richard also made a profit of nearly pounds 1.8m on exercising share options and received new shares, currently worth almost pounds 1.3m.

The report reveals that Sean Lance, the executive groomed to become chief operating officer at Glaxo before his shock resignation last October, received a pay off of pounds 900,000, bringing his total remuneration to more than pounds 1.7m in 1997. He is also sitting on Glaxo shares worth more than pounds 1.3m which were awarded as part of an incentive scheme. Mr Lance was due to take up his new role this year but left the group when it was felt he was not up to the job.

Following his departure, Bob Ingram, head of Glaxo's US operation, was appointed chief executive. He saw his total pay package rise 64 per cent to almost pounds 1.2m, including a bonus of pounds 595,000. His basic pay is likely to rise sharply this year from pounds 485,000 in his new role. Mr Ingram will also receive a one-off cash payment of pounds 590,000 to reflect his move from the group's US long term incentive scheme to the UK.

Glaxo's total boardroom pay rose more than pounds 2.5m to pounds 7.8m in a year that the group's profits fell 9 per cent to pounds 2.7bn due to the expiry of the patent on Zantac, the leading ulcer drug.

Glaxo and SmithKline stunned investors when they called off a merger which would have the biggest corporate deal ever seen.