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Setting new course, Pfizer CEO gets 44% pay hike

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Ian Read (pictured) collected a super-sized paycheck last year after he took on the super-sized job of running the world's largest drugmaker. The Pfizer ($PFE) CEO's pay leaped by 44% to about $25 million, the company said in its proxy statement, recognizing his promotion to CEO and his plans for streamlining and restructuring. The total puts him about on par with predecessor Jeff Kindler, whose 2010 package amounted to $24.7 million--but that included a $4.5 million severance payment, too.

In 2011, Read collected a base salary of $1.7 million plus incentive pay of $3.5 million, which was $900,000 more than his initial bonus target. He also was awarded $5.68 million in stock, plus another $6.92 million in options. Deferred compensation came to $6.89 million.

For this year, Read's base salary has been set slightly higher, at $1.75 million, and his incentive target is 150% of his base salary, or $2.6 million, RTT News reports.

"Under the leadership of Ian Read, we set a course to redefine and strengthen Pfizer," the company said in its proxy statement. And there's no question that Read has set a new bearing for the company.

Soon after he took over as CEO, Read announced he'd be reviewing the company's business units with an eye toward streamlining and refocusing on Pfizer's core prescription drug business. Analysts and investors cheered the idea; some even called for a wholesale breakup of the company. In July, Read announced Pfizer would be divesting its animal health and nutrition units, hanging on to consumer healthcare and generics. Since then, the company has accepted some bids for both units, even though it appears to be leaning toward a spin-off, rather than sale, of the animal health business.

Meanwhile, Read oversaw an aggressive bid to hang on to market share for its top-selling drug, Lipitor, which went off patent at the end of November. He also fashioned a major restructuring of R&D, closing laboratories and slashing payroll with the goal of cutting spending by $2 billion.

- check out Pfizer's proxy filing
- see the Reuters news
- read the RTT News coverage
- get more from Bloomberg

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