Salaries of Top 10 Pharma CEOs

Even after distress year for manufacturing issues and drug withdrawal , The CEOs of many Pharma Companies managed to gain high Salaries & Perks. The Johnson & Johnson CEO Bill Weldon took the top position, with $28.7 million in 2010 pay. And Novartis’ Daniel Vasella got the number two position in the ranking race.They are getting lucrative salaries since the company they represents are gained a growth in the fiscal year.




1 .Bill Weldon – Johnson & Johnson

Total : $28.7 million

Details: Despite a rough year that included drug and device recalls, plant shutdowns and government probes, Johnson & Johnson CEO Bill Weldon has received worth from the company’s board. Members said he “generally met expectations” during a year that included “many successes and very visible challenges.” And while Weldon’s total compensation dropped by $900,000 from 2009, the reduction–which included a 45 percent cut to his bonus–wasn’t enough for many investors.

Weldon’s base salary rose by $50,000 to $1.85 million, while his pension value, options and non-equity incentive plan compensations all dipped by anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million in each category.


2. Daniel Vasella – Novartis

Total : $27 million

Details: Although Novartis official documents place Daniel Vasella’s 2010 pay at 8 million francs, or $8.5 million, the company didn’t consider his $12.8 million one-time retirement payout. Ethos, an activist shareholder company, determined Vasella’s total pay for 2010 was 25 million francs, or $27 million. In multiple previous years, Vasella has made upwards of $21 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Vasella’s final CEO paycheck–he handed the reins over to Joe Jiminez in January 2010–left stockholders in a frenzy. At the company’s annual meeting, 38 percent rejected his compensation. Novartis has upheld Vasella’s and Jiminez’s compensation, stating they are comparable to those received by other Big Pharma CEOs, regardless of the comparison to other Swiss firms.

3. Miles White – Abbott

Total : $25.6 million

Details: After a rough year of declining company stock prices and FDA pressure that delayed new drug approvals, Abbott CEO and Chairman Miles White saw his total 2010 pay drop 2.5 percent to $25.6 million from 2009’s $26.2 million. Although he received a two percent raise in base salary–to $1.89 million–White’s stock awards took a significant 12 percent hit, accounting for the majority of his lost compensation.

The company is showing promise with its first quarter earnings in 2011, with an 18 percent rise in sales, in part thanks to its arthritis drug Humira. Its global revenue increased by 17.4 percent to $9.04 billion.

4. Jeffrey Kindler – Pfizer

Total  : $24.7 million


Jeffrey Kindler graduated from Harvard Law School in 1980. He subsequently clerked for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. and worked at the law firm Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. He then moved to the corporate sector with a period as Vice President and Senior Counselor for General Electric Co.and later as Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and General Counsel for McDonald’s. He rose to become President of Partner Brands (including Boston Market and Chipotle Mexican Grill) for McDonald’s until 2002, when he moved to Pfizer to serve as General Counsel. Kindler’s role at Pfizer quickly took on critical importance as the company faced a vast array of generic assaults on its patents, most notably on the $12 billion drug Lipitor, and the rising threat of counterfeit drugs.


5. Richard Clark – Merck

Total : $24.6 million

Details: In his last year as CEO, Richard Clark saw his paycheck increase significantly to $24.6 million from 2009’s dip to $15.8 million. The new high surpassed Clark’s previous top annual salary of $22.3 million from 2008. After a year with slumps in his stock and options awards and pension value, everything bounced back to near 2008 levels. Stock awards in particular more than doubled, from 2009’s $3.3 million to $7 million.

The 65 percent pay raise was thanks in part to the Merck-Schering Plough $42 billion merger, which increased the size of the company. And Clark wasn’t the only executive to reap the benefits of a heftier paycheck; new CEO Ken Frazier’s compensation rose 88 percent–from $5 million to $9.4 million.


6. Robert Coury – Mylan

Total : $22.9 million

Details: CEOs of generics companies also can see huge rewards. Mylan’s Robert Coury saw his compensation increase again last year. In 2009, Coury took in just under $16.5 million, compared with about $13.2 million in 2008. Last year, his base salary increased to $1.7 million–that’s up from about $1.57 million the previous year. And his stock options doubled–going from $3 million in 2009 to just over $6 million last year.

Coury is granted use company aircraft for vacations and other personal purposes “in light of heightened security concerns,” according to the company’s proxy statement. BNET‘s Jim Edwards points out Coury’s jet use stands out among pharma CEOs. *In fact, the CEO made use of his company’s aircraft more than five times more often than J&J CEO William Weldon and ex-Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler.

7. Kevin Sharer – Amgen

Total : $21.1 million

Details: Kevin Sharer is both chairman and CEO of Amgen. He saw his total compensation rise from $15.3 million in 2009 to more than $21 million last year. Although his base salary increased quite a bit-  from $1.68 million to just under $1.75 million–his stock awards shot up from $4.4 million to $8.3 million. Sharer also gets personal use of company aircraft as well as a company car and driver, according to the company’s proxy statement.

As the Ventura County Star notes, Amgen launched two potential blockbuster drugs last year–Prolia, for the treatment of post-menopausal women with osteoporosis, and Xgeva, for treating cancer patients. During the last quarter, the company saw profits drop by 3.6 percent, depressed in part by decline in sales of its anemia drugs, which have been plagued by safety questions and government wrangling. That said, the company also has provided a financial forecast for 2015 above Wall Street estimates and announced it will begin paying a dividend this year amounting to about 20 percent of its adjusted net income, and increasing going forward.

However, Sharer, who’s 63, told Reuters he won’t be around four years from now to see the forecast through. “In the next few years I’m sure we’ll have a management transition, but we’re not announcing any dates or anything,” he said, according to Reuters.


8.James Mullen – Biogen Idec

Total : $20.3 million

Details: Even though he ended his tenure as Biogen Idec CEO in the middle of last year, James Mullen made out well, earning $20.3 million in 2010. While his salary was lower than previous years–a little under $794,000 versus $1.2 million in 2009–Mullen received a bonus of $653,400. He also received stock and option awards of more than $18.5 million–which, when taken together, were more than double than what they were in 2009, according to the company’s proxy statement.

During his years at Biogen Mullen saw some turbulent times. He battled activist investor Carl Icahn and helped shepherd the approval and marketing of Tysabri–a drug that offered new hope to patients with multiple sclerosis. However, that drug, which still is a big seller, has been linked to a rare and often lethal brain infection. He also was forced to walk away from his $420 million bid to buy Facet Biotech, a cash-rich development partner that never saw enough money on the table to make an M&A deal worthwhile.

Mullen isn’t out of the life science industry yet. Earlier this year, Toronto-based contract drug developer and manufacturer Patheon announced that Mullen had been named its new CEO.


9. John Lechleiter – Eli Lilly

Total : $16.5 million

Details: John Lechleiter received total compensation of $16.5 million last year, down 21 percent from 2009, when he snagged $20.9 million. While his salary actually increased slightly to $1.5 million (up from $1.48 million), his stock awards dropped to $8.175 million from $11.25 million.

Eli Lilly is facing a few challenging years ahead, but it managed to grow sales during the first quarter. The company’s revenue increased by 6 percent on higher sales of several of its key drugs. And thanks to the weaker U.S. dollar, Lilly boosted its sales forecast for the full year. However, profits fell by 15 percent on restructuring and other costs, to $1.06 billion, or 96 cents per share.

Eli Lilly is now basing its employee bonuses partly on advances in its drug research pipeline, as Dow Jones notes.


10. John Martin – Gilead Sciences

Total : $14.2 million

Details: John Martin’s compensation was down a little in 2010 from 2009, when his package was worth just under $14.7 million; last year, it was $14.2 million. Martin earned a salary of a little more than $1.3 million last year–up from $1.24 million in 2009. He also received stock and option awards of roughly $10.5 million–down from the previous year, when he snagged more than $11.1 million.

Gilead Sciences is known for its HIV drugs and saw its net income rise 10 percent to $2.9 billion on revenue growth of 13 percent to $7.9 billion.

2 responses on "Salaries of Top 10 Pharma CEOs"

  1. What about Indian CEO’s ? What about their salaries ?

  2. Hope Pharma Crunch will also be in corporate listing some day and the peoples behind this will lead to become millionaire and get listed in the lists like this.

    Thanks for listing these type of peoples in front of us !!

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