Cell Therapeutics, After Raising More Cash, Hands Some Out in Management Bonuses

Xconomy Seattle — 

Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CTIC) has been running dangerously low on cash this year, on a “tight-wire act” in the words of CEO James Bianco. Now the board has decided to hand out some rewards to management for not falling off.

The compensation committee of the Seattle biotech company’s board agreed on June 4 to pay bonuses worth more than $250,000 to its top executives, according to a regulatory filing today. Those amounts represent about one-fourth of the bonuses those executives earned in 2008, but the money was deferred until the company was considered “sufficiently liquid” to make the payments.

The board’s decision means that Bianco, the company’s CEO and founder, will receive $121,875; his brother, Louis Bianco, the executive vice president of finance, will get $41,250; and Jack Singer, the chief medical officer, will get $38,250. Dan Eramian, the executive vice president of corporate communications will receive $35,448, and president Craig Philips will get $16,750, the company said.

In its most recent quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission filed on May 8, Cell Therapeutics said it has enough cash to operate into August. Three days after that filing, it raised $20 million in equity, and started an auction process which it hopes will rid the company of its $118.9 million in debt.

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11 responses to “Cell Therapeutics, After Raising More Cash, Hands Some Out in Management Bonuses”

  1. Wicked says:

    Dirtbags. The company is a failure but still paying big bonuses. I hope they kept the plane for the Biancos.

  2. Comprehension says:

    Did you read the article? They are not getting anything until the company becomes sufficiently liquid. So, in effect, they will get their bonuses once the company is fruitful enough that you will not be able to consider them a failure.

  3. Mr. Reality says:

    It’s not like 250k spread out between five guys is a whole lot of bonus money these days. Especially considering the CEO of my Co. (not mentioning names) got over 4 mil. in bonus this year with sales down over 25%. and after over 600 employees were let go. And I don’t see CTI asking for any tax payer handouts in place for their debt either. Hell, you can’t expect people to give their lives to their company and not reap any benefits, even in today’s recession. It’s 2009 not 1929!

  4. the only dirtbag is Mr. wicked..I wonder what he has contributed to the curing of cancer..nothing ….

  5. Mr. Reality says:

    Good point Gary. It’s not like they are selling cars or handing out loans to high risk customers. These people at CTI are trying to save lives.

  6. BSCHILL says:

    It is very importand in times like this to keep the key players on board, happy and motivated. They are doing a great job and being conservative in the bonuses they allowed themselves.

    Keep on working toward the goal of making other lives better.

  7. Miss Comprehansion says:

    Yo, Comprehension: your name must be ironic. The article says the bonuses *were* deferred but are now being paid.

    Who the hell are the fools who keep investing in this scam? CTI has been diluted so many times. How can new investors not realize they will be diluted just like 20 rounds of investors before them?

  8. Anon says:

    If I read correctly these CTI execs got $1M in bonuses in 2008 which believe reflects a long history of “excess compensation” on top of premium salaries and benefits (although reportedly they sold the Company Plane a while back) compared to actual results in “contributing to the curing of cancer”.

  9. poor says:

    I’m sure the rank-and-file employees (the ones doing the really hard work) aren’t getting fat bonuses.

  10. If these guys are working, they deserve some compensation. But the bonuses are a bit of a slap in the face to their investors. Bonuses should be paid for accomplishments. This business of companies routinely paying bonuses to execs is weird. If they walk away b/c they didn’t get enough money, my bet is the company would be in the same shape after they leave as it was before. And investors can vote “NO” when the opportunities present themselves on the proxy cards.