Baxter pays execs more than $8.5M to stick it out through pharma spinoff

Baxter ($BAX) chief Robert Parkinson--who makes a perennial appearance on the list of the top-paid helmsman in biopharma--is in prime position to return this year, despite a drop in his overall compensation. But as for his colleagues gearing up to help biopharma spinoff Baxalta break free, they're in line for some pay bumps--assuming they stick around after the split.

Parkinson will net $15.3 million for 2014, a step down from the $16.2 million he picked up in 2013 and the $17.5 million he pocketed the year before that. While his base salary stayed steady and his annual cash bonus shot up 17%, it was his stock awards--which nearly halved to $3.6 million from the prior year's $6.8 million--that brought down his total haul.

Future Baxalta CFO Robert Hombach, on the other hand, saw quite a different turn with his stock awards, which climbed to $3.9 million from $877,271 in 2013. Overall, his pay package hit $9.5 million, more than double the $4.4 million he netted last year--but he'll only collect the whole thing if sees the Baxalta spinoff through.

Future Baxalta CFO Robert Hombach

Hombach's retention incentives include a $750,000 target cash bonus, as well as a grant of 40,000 restricted stock units, currently worth about $3 million. That grant will vest on either the grant's third anniversary or if his employment is terminated involuntarily without cause--whichever comes first.

Ludwig Hantson, who's been tabbed to step into Baxalta's CEO seat, won't see nearly the same jump. His stock awards dropped just slightly for 2014 to $972,610, pegging his overall pay at $4.5 million--a touch higher than the $4.4 million he took home in 2013.

Hombach isn't the only employee who stands to reap retention rewards if he stays at Baxalta, though. Human Resources VP Jeanne Mason and General Counsel VP and Corporate Secretary David Scharf are also in line for both cash and stock bonuses if they stay on, totaling $500,000 and 25,000 RSUs--worth $1.9 million--for each.

"As Baxter works toward a successful transition plan to create two new independent companies, retaining senior leadership talent through and after the transition date is critical to both the execution of the plan and business continuity," Baxter said in its proxy filing.

Baxalta's leaders will certainly have their work cut out for them once the new company starts flying solo. The drugmaker will rely on its hemophilia sales, which accounted for more than 58% of its top-line total in 2013. And with two new, long-acting Biogen ($BIIB) rivals now out there--priced similarly to Baxter's older, less convenient therapies to encourage patient-switching--some of those may be in jeopardy.

- read Baxter's filing

Special Report: 15 Highest-Paid Biopharma CEOs of 2013 - Robert Parkinson - Baxter