By Henry Ehrlich
Food allergy parents aren’t the only people whose patience for Mylan has worn thin. The New York Times reported today that some fireworks are due later this week at the annual shareholder meeting. “Major pension-fund investors are opposing the re-election of the chairman, Robert J. Coury, and other directors, as well as calling on shareholders to reject the company’s executive pay plans because, they say, top officials are being paid too much.” Hey, the stock only fell 29% for the year.
Coury has garnered a few headlines in recent months over his nearly $100 million compensation for 2016. I have mainly looked to Heather Bresch, CEO, as the face of Mylan, but it turns out that Coury is much more interesting. For example, in 2012, which was when the company was just beginning to implement its plans to take advantage of its near monopoly status for EpiPen in the auto-injector market, the Wall St. Journal reported that Coury used his executive jet privileges to attend gigs by his son who had a top 40 hit in 2010, recorded on the family’s own label.
In 2015, Teva Pharmaceuticals made a bid for Mylan, which was rejected out of hand by Coury. Chaim Hurvitz, a Teva director, said at the time, “Everyone who knows Coury could guess what the next move would be. This is Coury by the book – a very vitriolic person with a lot to lose. He would lose the private planes, cars, and everything else. We all expected this part. The Mylan board of directors is composed half of management, which is in effect subordinate to him. The shareholders have no real representation. The real war will be for the shareholders.” We’ll see how those shareholders fare on Thursday.
Anyone who wants a preview of Fourth of July should attend the Mylan meeting.