J&J shareholders approve CEO Gorsky’s near $30 million pay plan By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, takes the stand as a witness in New Jersey Supreme Court in New Brunswick, New Jersey

By Jessica DiNapoli

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shareholders at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) approved Chief Executive Alex Gorsky’s $29.6 million pay plan for 2020 at the healthcare company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

J&J’s pay plan has been scrutinized by some investors because it excluded from its calculation of stock awards to its top executives some $9 billion in costs related to thousands of lawsuits claiming it helped fuel the U.S. opioid crisis and that traces of asbestos in its talc baby powder caused cancer. J&J has said the move is consistent with its long-term practices.

The final results of the vote, including the total number of J&J investors who approved and rejected the pay arrangement, will be released in the coming days.

Gorsky also answered a question from an investor on the possible link between J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine and a very rare but serious blood clot condition that led to a U.S. pause in its use.

He said the company was looking forward to a U.S. regulatory meeting and review of the issue scheduled for Friday

“We strongly support awareness of the signs and symptoms of this extremely rare event to ensure the correct diagnosis, appropriate treatment and expedited reporting by healthcare professionals,” Gorsky said. “We continue to believe in the positive benefit-risk profile of our vaccine.”

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