Joseph Jimenez - Novartis

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Joseph Jimenez - Novartis
Total Compensation: $15.7 million

Details: Jimenez is another new face on this year's list, stepping in for Daniel Vasella back in 2010. Last year, Jimenez pulled in a $1.9 million base salary, augmented by $1 million in short-term shares, $10.7 million in long-term shares and the rest in benefits and bonuses.

As Big Pharma faces an ever-deepening patent cliff, Novartis ($NVS), under Jimenez's leadership, has streamlined operations and focused on R&D. The company's job cuts, numbering in the thousands, have mostly been in marketing and administration, allowing the Swiss drugmaker to invest big in drug development to offset the coming generic competition for blockbusters like Diovan. Manufacturing troubles have slowed the company as of late--it reported an 8% earnings decline in first-quarter 2012--but Jimenez is confident that the acquisition of Alcon and the progress of multiple sclerosis treatment Gilenya will get Novartis back on track.

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