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Inspire to pay bonuses to retain employees

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Inspire Pharmaceuticals plans to pay every remaining employee a retention bonus after the Raleigh drug-development company restructured its operations and slashed jobs.

The amount will be based on various factors, including current position and salary.

CEO Adrian Adams will be eligible for a bonus of $812,500, on top of other compensation, Inspire reported in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Chief administrative and legal officer Andrew Koven will receive $398,400.

Employees will receive the bonuses only if they stay with Inspire for at least the next year.

Last month, Inspire announced it would cut about a quarter of its workforce, or 65 jobs, after it abandoned efforts to develop an experimental treatment for cystic fibrosis. Most of those workers were let go at the end of February.

The goal was to use that drug as a foundation for developing more respiratory medicines. The company instead will redouble efforts to expand its existing eye care business, and wants to make sure that it doesn't lose employees, including its team of sales representatives.

"In light of recent events, including Inspire’s revised strategic direction and recent restructuring, the Board wanted to provide financial incentives to employees to remain with Inspire during the implementation of the revised strategic direction," said spokeswoman Cara Amoroso, in a statement.

She declined to comment on how much Inspire expects to pay in retention bonuses altogether.

Inspire now employs about 175 people, including about 60 at its new Raleigh headquarters. The company shifted its operations from Durham in January.

Inspire shares fell 8 cents to close at $3.62 on Thursday. The stock is down 40 percent in the past year.

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Well Done

What better way to reward yourself by cutting 1/4 of your workforce than by giving yourself a large bonus. If it were me, I'd tell the rest of them to be happy they still have a jobs and pocket their bonuses as well.

I kid, I kid

What I really meant to say is if your CEO thinks this is what it takes to keep employees from leaving then you should jump off that sinking ship. They are clueless. Your talents are needed elsewhere.

Good Management Practice

Smart move by the company.  Those remaining after a layoff can become the walking wounded and this can be the cure. 

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About the blogger

Assistant Business Editor Alan M. Wolf joined the N&O in 1999 covering the business of health care. He became an editor in 2001, and helps oversee the paper's daily business coverage and Sunday Work&Money section. He lives in Clayton with his wife and two children. Reach him at 919-829-4572 or e-mail him.
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