Smith & Nephew chief seeks his fortune elsewhere

A base salary 9% higher than that of his predecessor was not high enough for Namal Nawana, who has resigned the post of chief executive of Smith & Nephew after the venerable UK group declined to meet his salary expectations. Mr Nawana was hired in April 2018 on a base salary of $1.54m, and while this will only be part of his total remuneration he had said he was taking home rather less than at his prior position as head of the diagnostics group Alere. Mr Nawana had been generally regarded as doing a pretty good job, with a second-quarter beat-and-raise in July prompting a jump in shares. The company was, at one point this summer, so keen to accommodate his salary demands that the board discussed moving its listing to the US, where executive pay tends to be more generous. Thanks in part to shareholder objections, this plan was shelved. The new leader will be the former chief executive of Roche Diagnostics, Roland Diggelmann, who will take over on November 1 – the day after the company is due to announce third-quarter sales. Smith & Nephew’s London stock is trading down 8% so far today.

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