Bentley forgoes exec bonuses

Bentley Pharmaceuticals awarded its top executives almost $6 million in compensation in 2006 – about half in stock incentives – according to a proxy filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

James Murphy, board chairman and CEO, receiving slightly more than a $1.7 million, according to the filing.

Murphy’s salary, which includes roughly $1 million worth of options, according to Bentley’s estimate to the SEC, does not include bonuses because of a decline in the company’s stock value in 2006.

The stock price, which was as high $22.90 a share in January 2006 fell to as low as $8.82 a share in December. The price is still hovering mostly below $10 a share ever since.

In previous statements, the Exeter-based pharmaceutical company blamed tougher prescription drug regulations in Spain, where much of its generic products are manufactured and sold – for the decline.

Other top executives also did not receive bonuses. President John Sedor received $1.7 million in compensation, counting options. Former CFO Michael Price received slightly more than $1 million in compensation – almost half that in severance pay — for nine months of service. His replacement, Richard Lindsay, racked up more than $356,000 for the last three months of the year.

Adolfo Herrera, managing director of European subsidiaries, received a $139,000 bonus for performance not reflected in the measurement of corporate goals, bringing his compensation package to nearly $950,000.

The five members of the board that approved the compensation each received a total of $900,000, with Vice Chairman Michael McGovern getting slightly more than $250,000 in cash and stock incentives for his services. McGovern is the company’s largest stockholder, owning 14.4 percent of shares. – BOB SANDERS

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