By LINDA A. JOHNSON

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) ¿ Johnson & Johnson's chairman and chief executive received compensation valued at $23.03 million in 2008, an 8.2 percent decrease in a year when the health care company posted better results than many competitors and net income and revenue rose.

William C. Weldon, who has held his posts since 2002, received compensation totaling $25.1 million in 2007.

In 2008, he received a base salary of $1.79 million, according to a proxy statement filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Weldon, 60, received stock awards and options valued at $6.4 million when they were granted in February 2008. Johnson & Johnson's shares are now trading below the options' strike price of $61.75, but Weldon has until February 2018 to exercise them.

Most of the decline in Weldon's compensation is accounted for by a smaller total for options and stock awards, which was down from $7.7 million in 2007.

He also received about $9 million in annual performance bonus.

Weldon, who began his career at Johnson & Johnson in 1971, also received other compensation totaling $3.93 million. That included $3.6 million in long-term compensation called dividend equivalents, $80,641 in contributions to his retirement plan and $184,165 in various perks, from $154,045 for personal use of company aircraft to $26,595 for a car and driver.

The Associated Press' compensation formula is designed to isolate the value the company's board placed on the executive's total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive's compensation in the previous fiscal year.

J&J makes everything from Band-Aids and baby shampoo to contraceptives and medicines made from living cells. Last year, it substantially completed a restructuring plan that cut nearly 5,000 jobs, but dealt with falling sales for some drugs facing generic competition, particularly schizophrenia drug Risperdal, and for its artery-opening stents, which faced efficacy and safety questions.

Weldon told analysts J&J's fourth-quarter revenue was reduced across the board by the global recession, as people cut back on doctor visits, elective surgery and use of prescription medicines. He noted that sales of consumer items such as contact lenses dropped as "consumers are becoming more frugal."

Despite those pressures, net income for all of 2008 climbed 22 percent to $12.95 billion, or $4.57 per share, and revenue rose 4.3 percent, to $63.75 billion.

The company also agreed to buy breast implant and cosmetic product maker Mentor Corp.

The proxy, sent out ahead of the company's April 23 annual meeting, includes one shareholder proposal on giving an advisory vote to shareholders on executive compensation policies. The company said it opposes the proposal, and suggests shareholders weigh in on compensation by communicating directly with the board.

J&J shares rose 12 cents to close at $47.90 Wednesday. Since peaking at $72.76 in early September the stock has slipped more than 34 percent, and bottomed earlier this week at $46.62.

(This version CORRECTS the company's closing stock price and 52-week range.)
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