Sunday, July 06, 2008

Klein's Possible Salary: Comments From CIRM

The question of a salary, possibly exceeding more than $500,000, for the chairman of the California stem cell agency is a "non-issue" and a "non-reality," according to the agency's chief communications officer.

In an interview with the Marc Strassman of the Etopia News Channel, Don Gibbons explained that Robert Klein has not yet decided whether to ask CIRM board of directors whether they want to pay him for his work at the state agency. Klein, a multimillionaire real estate investment banker, refused to take a salary when he was elected to his post by directors in 2004.

More recently, however, Klein has more than once indicated that the question of a salary for both him and the vice chairman, Ed Penhoet, is something that the board is likely to have to deal with.

Last month, we asked Penhoet, who is a California venture capitalist and one of the co-founders of Chiron, about his position on taking a salary. He replied:
"I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment on personnel matters ( including my own)."
In the Etopia interview, Gibbons additionally discussed CIRM's opposition to legislation designed to ensure affordable access to CIRM-financed therapies. He also noted that 56 research papers have been published so far by CIRM grantees.

You can hear the 10-minute Gibbons interview here.

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