'Tis the season for executive pay raises, and AstraZeneca's ($AZN) David Brennan is no exception. Last year, Brennan won an 11% increase in overall compensation to £3.37 million, from £3 million in 2010, the Financial Times reports. For those of us who think in dollars, that's $5.89 million and $4.77 million, respectively.
The FT makes the point that Brennan's raise comes at a challenging time for AstraZeneca, with Seroquel's patent expiring today and three more significant expirations over the next 5 years (see our Seroquel story for more). It has also seen some R&D disappointments recently, dismaying investors who were hoping that a few late-stage drugs could jump into the patent-cliff gap.
But stacking up Brennan's pay alongside his Big Pharma brethren, $5.89 million comes in toward the bottom. U.K. rival GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) boss got a 24% raise to £6.7 million, or $10.5 million, while Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) chief Lamberto Andreotti clocked a 27% increase to almost $15 million. It can certainly be argued that these companies have better short-term prospects than AstraZeneca does, particularly Bristol-Myers, which has an impressive recent record on the R&D side. But the fact remains that Brennan is far from the highest paid pharma exec out there--and given AstraZeneca's current problems, that raise could be considered hazard pay.
- read the FT story
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