GlaxoSmithKline Shaves Bonuses on China Bribery Scandal
GlaxoSmithKline Shaves Bonuses on China Bribery ScandalReuters

GlaxoSmithKline has cut senior executive bonus payments after a wide scale investigation in China revealed that high level staff had bribed doctors for business.

According to GSK's annual report, the pharmaceutical giant slashed the amount its chief executive, Andrew Witty, as well as what other senior staff received in bonus payments.

"His bonus has been reduced from the maximum possible as both Witty and the board are mindful of the impact the investigation in China has had on the reputation of the company," said a GSK spokesperson in a separate media statement.

The board also praised Witty's "strong leadership of GSK in what remains a challenging environment for healthcare" and elaborated as to why he still deserves a bonus.

"Witty's bonus reflects GSK's very strong performance in 2013 which included receiving the highest number of product approvals of any company, meeting the top end of our financial guidance and delivering the best total shareholder return since the formation of the company with more than £5bn returned to shareholders," they said.

Among the foreign drugmakers, GSK has faced the most high-profile investigation for suspected bribery and tax-related offences in China since early July.

China's Ministry of Public Security accused unnamed GSK executives of routing 3bn yuan ($488m, £307m, €365m) in bribes to doctors through 700 travel agencies and consultancies over six years.

In connection with the allegations, Chinese authorities took several GSK executives into custody and claimed a number admitted to criminal charges of bribery and tax law violations.

GSK also admitted some Chinese executives appeared to have broken the law, but CEO Andrew Witty said the head office had no prior knowledge about the wrongdoing.

It added that it was cooperating with authorities.

GSK Executive Bonuses

Sir Andrew Witty, CEO

2013: £1.875m (out of a possible £2.1m)

2012: £905,000

2011: £2m

Simon Dingemans, chief financial officer:

2013: £886,000

Dr Moncef Slaoui, head of research and development:

2013: £1.183m