Friday, February 18, 2011

Geron's Golden Parachute for Okarma

Tom Okarma may be out as Geron's CEO but he has a nifty cushion to ease the pain.

Reporter Ron Leuty of the San Francisco Business Times has reported that the onetime head of the Menlo Park stem cell firm could receive up to $1.3 million, including $802,500 in severance pay, as part of an agreement with the firm.

The package consists of consulting fees, reimbursement of legal fees, health care coverage plus an additional $24,000 for benefits not covered by Medicare. He also has stock options that Leuty reported would have been worth more than $3.9 million if cashed out at Wednesday's closing price.

Geron, we should point out, has reported negative profit margins during the last 10 years. One web site reports that its current profit margin is MINUS 3,359.71 percent. Of course, making money is exception rather than the rule for biotech companies. Geron additionally could be in line for a $25 million loan from the California stem cell agency.

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