Rewarding corporate excellence
The heroes who blow whistles when they see corporate malfeasance have long been underpaid. They take on tremendous personal and professional risk and far too few wind up being played by Russell Crowe on the big screen. So it feels good to applaud the $51.5 million windfall John Kopchinski is getting for his six-year legal battle with Pfizer, the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company, which resulted in a record $2.3 billion penalty for drug pushing transgressions.
Our reporter Bill Berkrot spoke with the former Pfizer sales representative and Gulf War veteran. You’ll be happy to know the news hasn’t gone to his head. Kopchinski celebrated by having a family portrait photograph taken. “We’re going to be staying right here in San Antonio in the same house, and my wife tells me when we go to the movies we’re still getting one tub of popcorn — the large tub,” he told Berkrot in a telephone interview.
It’s nice to know that people who have their hearts in the right place can earn as much as the bosses they stand up to. While it’s always welcome to see people act out of altruism, perhaps the prospect of a big pay off might encourage more executives and employees to behave like better citizens.
(Picture: Russell Crowe (right) as a tobacco-company whistleblower in The Insider)