By John Kell
Total pay for Walgreen Co.'s (WAG) Chief Executive and President Gregory Wasson dropped 0.6% to $12 million for the latest fiscal year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The drugstore retailer disclosed Mr. Wasson's base salary and stock and option awards increased, while nonequity incentive plan compensation was lower.
Mr. Wasson joined the company in 1980 as a pharmacy intern while a student at Purdue University. He rose through the ranks, and earned a promotion as a regional vice president in 1999. After serving in several other executive roles, Mr. Wasson was named president and chief operating officer in 2007 and later became CEO in early 2009.
Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon's total pay fell 21% to $3.2 million. Mr. Miquelon joined Walgreen in 2008.
For the latest fiscal year ended Aug. 31, Walgreen's total sales dropped 0.8% to about $71.63 billion, though adjusted profit remained flat, as the company suffered from the fallout of broken ties with pharmacy-benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX), which caused millions of prescriptions to move to rival drugstores.
The companies resolved their differences and Walgreen re-entered Express Scripts broader network in September, giving the company the ability to attempt to win back those lost clients.
Walgreen has also been busy with acquisitions in recent months. This year, it closed on a roughly $438 million deal to buy a regional drugstore chain and a $225 million acquisition of specialty and mail-service pharmacy operations from BioScrip Inc. (BIOS).
But the company's biggest acquisition to date was first announced in June, when Walgreen agreed to pay $6.7 billion to buy a 45% stake in U.K. pharmacy-led health-and-beauty retailer Alliance Boots GmbH, a deal that concerned some observers as a strategic shift away from Walgreen's home market. Walgreen has called the deal transformative, touting access to growth in Europe and emerging markets.
Walgreen's shares are up 1.1% to $32.50 in recent trading, rising with the broader market. But the stock is down 1.7% in 2012 and is underperforming rival CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS).
Write to John Kell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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