MONTREAL — The former head of the embattled Valeant pharmaceutical company will receive nearly US$1 million this year for continuing to advise the Quebec-based firm.
That's on top of US$9 million in severance that Michael Pearson will receive from a previously disclosed employment contract signed last year.
Valeant revealed Tuesday that its former CEO will get US$83,333 per month in consulting fees through the end of 2016, plus US$15,000 monthly in 2017, for a total of US$846,664.
The consulting contract can be extended monthly and Pearson will be fully paid even if Valeant terminates the contract prior to the second anniversary of his termination on May 2.
Michael Pearson, ex-CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., speaks during an interview at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on May 21, 2015. (Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Pearson, 56, also retains medical coverage for his family for two years. He suffered from pneumonia and complications that kept him off the job from late December until he returned in late February.
He is required to hold for two years the one million Valeant shares he received in settlement of his equity awards and bound by terms concerning confidentiality, competition and solicitation of employees for two years.
Once Canada's most valuable company by stock market value, Valeant's stock has plunged amid controversy on several fronts, including its relationship with U.S. mail order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services and increases to drug prices.
The stock is currently trading at about C$37.50 at the Toronto Stock Exchange, but was trading above $300 per share last summer before the problems emerged — erasing billions of dollars of market value.
Valeant's stock reached a height of $263.70 in August 2015, and later fell to a low of $25.27 in April 2016, The Globe and Mail reported.
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