The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 1:00 am


Lutheran's CEO to stay as director

Staff, news services

Wayne Smith, chairman and CEO of Community Health Systems, received enough votes Tuesday to continue as a director of the company, the parent of Lutheran Health Network.

That was despite a public call issued Monday by National Nurses United, the nation's largest union representing registered nurses, for Smith to be ousted from his position. The Silver Spring, Maryland-based organization said Smith's “primary goal has been to enrich himself at the expense of patients and the corporation's assets.”

Brenda Meadwell, a West Virginia nurse who made the trip to Tennessee with plans to speak at the company's annual meeting, said afterward that the meeting was winding up as she entered the room. She estimated it was less than five minutes after the meeting's 8 a.m. start.

Smith received more than 83.5 million votes in favor of his board seat. Stockholders cast more than 1.2 million votes against him. Three of the 10 other director candidates received more votes against their continued board service than Smith did.

Meadwell was able to share some safety concerns at the Bluefield, West Virginia, hospital with the company's chief nursing officer after the annual meeting.

Qualcomm execs get 1-time stock awards

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf and other top executives received one-time stock awards worth millions for settling the bloody legal dispute with Apple last month. In a filing with federal securities regulators on Friday, Qualcomm disclosed that the Compensation Committee of its Board of Directors granted Mollenkopf stock worth $3.4 million “in recognition for outstanding efforts” in achieving a patent license and smartphone chip supply settlement with Apple.

Regular employees also are expected to benefit from the end of legal hostilities with Apple.

Qualcomm executives said the company would spend roughly $100 million to beef up its employee cash bonus fund due to the return of Apple's business.

Bayer stock falls after lawsuit award

Bayer's stock fell 2% Tuesday afternoon, one day after a California couple was awarded more than $2 billion over allegations tied to its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. The decision marked the third consecutive jury verdict against the company, which said it would appeal, tied to the top-selling herbicide.

The company's value has fallen roughly 45% since its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, which makes Roundup, was sealed in June 2018. Other household Bayer brands include Aleve, Alka-Seltzer and its namesake aspirin.

Nissan profits drop $2.9 billion for year

Japanese automaker Nissan, reeling from the arrest of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn, reported Tuesday its annual profit nose-dived to less than half of what it earned the previous year, and forecast even dimmer results going forward.

Nissan Motor Co.'s profit for the fiscal year that ended in March totaled 319.1 billion yen ($2.9 billion), down from 746.9 billion yen the previous fiscal year – its worst showing since the global financial crisis a decade ago.

Nissan said profit for the fiscal year through March 2020 will drop to 170 billion yen ($1.5 billion), as its earnings are slammed by restructuring and product development expenses combined with currency-related losses and rising material costs.

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