A top executive at Swiss drug making company Novartis is retiring from the company over the $1.2 million it paid to a shadow company owned by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Novartis’ general counsel Felix Ehrat will be replaced on June 1 by Shannon Thyme Klinger, who currently works as the company’s chief ethics, risk and compliance officer, according to the WSJ.
Over the course of the last year, Novartis paid Cohen about $100,000 a month to gain insight into the Trump administration’s health policy plans, namely its efforts related to the Affordable Care Act. The company said recently that it realized after its first meeting with Cohen that Trump’s personal lawyer would not be helpful in garnering influence and stopped working with him, but continued to pay out the remainder of the contract.
The Novartis ouster comes as AT&T forced its top Washington, D.C. executive into retirement last week, following fallout from revelations that the telecom giant paid Cohen $600,000 last year. In the statement announcing Bob Quinn’s retirement, AT&T called the agreement a “big mistake.”