A Moderna executive will be paid R11.3m despite leaving his job after 1 day, a report says

Business Insider US
Jorge Gomez is one of a number senior executives to leave the vaccine maker in recent months. SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty Images
Jorge Gomez is one of a number senior executives to leave the vaccine maker in recent months. SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty Images
  • Moderna's CFO Jorge Gomez will be paid $700,000 (around R11.3m), despite spending only one day in his new job. 
  • Gomez left after his former employer notified the SEC that it was investigating financial reporting.
  • He will, however, forfeit his $500,000 (around R8 million) signing bonus, Moderna told the Wall Street Journal.  
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A senior executive will be paid $700,000 (around R11.3 million) in severance, despite only spending a day in his new job at vaccine maker Moderna, reports suggest. 

On Wednesday, the pharmaceutical giant announced that its chief financial officer, Jorge Gomez, had departed the company "effective immediately," following a disclosure by his former employer that it's investigating financial misreporting.  

Gomez formally began his role on Monday, a month after leaving his role as CFO at the dentistry manufacturer, Dentsply Sirona. Despite his early departure, he will still receive his annual salary of $700,000 (around R11.3 million) as part of his severance package, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting Moderna. He will, however, forfeit his $500,000 (around R8 million) signing bonus, as per the report. 

It's extremely rare for an executive to leave a firm within such a short period. Listed firms go to great lengths to properly vet candidates, as part of their due diligence. The process can take many months and usually involves background checks. The nature of Gomez's departure poses questions over how rigorously this process was performed. 

Moderna told the FT that it was made aware of the internal investigation, following Dentsply's disclosure, made in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday. 

In March 2022, Dentsply's board of directors began an investigation into allegations surrounding the financial reporting of the use of incentives to sell its products, as well as the disclosure of the incentives on sales, according to the filing.

The audit committee is also investigating "former and current members of senior management" over allegations that they used these incentives to affect executive compensation.

The investigation does not name Gomez specifically. In April, Dentsply terminated its former CEO Donald Casey and removed him from the board, but did not disclose why. 

Gomez's predecessor, David Meline, will resume his position while the firm searches for a replacement, Moderna said in a statement

Gomez was expected to play a key role in the drug maker's ESG and sustainability efforts as it enters a new phase of growth following the commercial success of its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.

Moderna, Dentsply, and Gomez are yet to respond to Insider's request for comment, which was made outside of US business hours.

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