March 2, 2011 / 5:16 PM / 8 years ago

GSK boss gets $1.2 mln pay cut after poor year

* CEO pay 2.3 mln stg in 2010, bonus 41 pct less than 2009

* Cut due to profit shortfall following Avandia sales slump

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) Chief Executive Andrew Witty’s pay was cut by 734,000 pounds ($1.2 million) to 2.3 million pounds last year after Britain’s biggest drugmaker missed its profit targets.

The shortfall followed plunging sales of controversial diabetes pill Avandia, which was withdrawn from the market in Europe last autumn and severely restricted in the United States after being linked to increased heart risk.

Witty received an unchanged base salary of 1 million pounds in 2010 but had his bonus reduced by 41 percent to 1.177 million from 2 million in 2009, GSK said in its annual report on Wednesday.

The big legal charges taken by GSK in 2010 — partly to settle liability claims over Avandia and which wiped out the company’s earnings in the fourth quarter — were not included in the bonus calculation. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Will Waterman)

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