Looking for McKesson’s Chief Horticultural Officer…

June 22, 2010

While reading the proxy that McKesson Corporation (MCK) filed June 21, we found ourselves scouring the document for evidence of a new executive position — the Chief Horticultural Officer.

Our suspicion is that this elusive scientific genius somehow managed to transform the pachira aquatica (commonly called a —money tree) into the real thing.

Why? Well, take a peek at p. 56 of the Summary Compensation Table….

For fiscal year 2010, Chairman/president/CEO John Hammergren received total compensation of nearly $54.6 million. That included $1.58 million in base salary, nearly $11.05 million in stock awards*, approximately $7.65 million in option awards, and about $12.83 million in non-equity incentive compensation. The value of Hammergren’s pension/deferred compensation account rose by more than $20.67 million, and he got $806,880 in —Other compensation (for things like more than $129,000 for home security, $76,023 for personal use of the company plane, and almost $13,000 for a company-provided car and driver). It’s a jump of more than $17.4 million over what Hammergren got last year, primarily due to the change in his pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings.

But Hammergren certainly isn—t the only one. All of the other named executive officers got multi-million dollar compensation packages, as well. For EVP/CFO Jeffrey Campbell, that meant $13,677,863. Executive Vice President/Group President Paul Julian received $23,003,301. Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development Marc Owen received the lowest amount, a —mere $8,747,704. And EVP/General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer Laureen Seeger received $8,748,928.

To be sure, McKesson is a huge company with a market cap of about $18.89 billion. But even so, these are some of the highest salaries we—ve seen in a long time.

We—ll leave it up to the shareholders to decide if they’re getting their money’s worth from within the executive ranks. But if McKesson really has a Chief Horticultural Officer, we—d say he or she probably deserves a raise.

Image source: Silas216 via Flickr

*(In accordance with SEC rules, McKesson listed the fair value of the restricted stock as of the date the shares were granted. It’s premature to know just yet —whether the recipient has actually realized a financial benefit from the award.)

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