Thermo chair to get $28m retirement package

Thermo Fisher Scientific board chairman Paul Meister – who last week announced he was stepping down from the post — will receive some $28 million in retirement benefits, according to a proxy statement filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition, Meister -former vice chairman of the Hampton-based Fisher Scientific, which Thermo acquired in November — will receive $366,433 for being “terminated without cause” from Fisher to be come board chairman at Thermo. That figure represents the tax he had to pay on the accelerated exercising of options accumulated at Fisher over the years – some $200,000 worth granted in 2006 alone — as well as personal use of corporate aircraft.

After Meister was “terminated,” he received a base salary of $250,000 as Thermo’s board chairman. In 2006, that figure was prorated to $36,005 for less than two months’ service.

Meister will still be in close proximity to Thermo, as vice president and treasurer of Latona Associates, an investment firm that leases 15,000 square feet of the firm’s Hampton facility for some $250,000.

Stockholders won’t vote on Meister’s replacement. As part of the Thermo Fisher merger deal, three out of the eight board members were reserved for Fisher holdovers, and if one of those step down, the other two — Bruce L. Koepfgen and Scott M. Sperling – would fill the vacancy.

Sperling is a member of the executive committee who recommended that the top five executive officers at Fisher receive some $45 million in compensation last year, including options worth $35 million. CEO Marijn E. Dekkers received nearly half of that — $20 million.

Sperling received $10,000 in cash and $200,000 in options for his service as a board member. – BOB SANDERS

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