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Top 22nd Century Group executive receives major bonus in first year
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Top 22nd Century Group executive receives major bonus in first year

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The chief executive of 22nd Century Group received $1.04 million in total compensation for fiscal 2020, mostly from a $675,000 bonus, the company reported in a regulatory filing this week.

James Mish took over as chief executive on June 22.

Mish was paid $241,093 in salary, stock awards valued at $118,230 on the date they were awarded and $8,760 in all other compensation that consisted of company-paid health, dental, life and long-term disability insurance premiums.

22nd Century said when Mish was hired that his starting base salary would be $450,000 annually.

The company did not report a chief executive pay ratio for its median employee’s annual compensation.

22nd Century has its cigarette-manufacturing operations in Mocksville where it has 51 of its 67 employees. It is moving its headquarters to Buffalo from Williamsville, N.Y.

For fiscal 2020, it had a $19.7 million loss, compared with a $26.5 million loss in fiscal 2019. The company derives most of its revenue from producing traditional cigarettes for third-party customers.

Michael Zercher, its president and chief operating officer, received a 26.1% jump in salary to $366,451. He was promoted to president during the period before Mish was hired.

Zercher received a $366,100 bonus, stock awards valued at $447,831 and total compensation of $1.21 million, up 20.3%.

John Franzino was hired in June as chief financial officer and treasurer. He was paid $158,213 in salary, a $125,000 bonus and total compensation of $435,248.

Andrea Jentsch, who resigned May 29 as chief financial officer and treasurer, was paid $131,922 in salary, a $170,084 severance benefit and total compensation of $422,146.

The company continues to wait for a Food and Drug Administration decision on its modified-risk tobacco-product application, which would allow it to advertise products as reduced harm or reduced risk compared with traditional cigarettes.

An FDA decision has been pending since Feb. 14, 2020, on 22nd Century’s application for its very-low nicotine traditional cigarettes.

The company has not received revenue from licensing or broad commercial sales of its very-low-nicotine tobacco products.

22nd Century will conduct a virtual annual shareholder meeting on May 20. No shareholder proposals are on the agenda.

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@rcraverWSJ

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