Pfizer CEO's total pay for 2015 drops 23% on lower stock awards

Pfizer CEO Ian Read

2015 was a banner year for Pfizer ($PFE) CEO Ian Read, but Read is only reaping some of the spoils. The Pfizer helmsman took home $18 million in pay last year but his total compensation fell 23% from $23.3 million the year before, partly because of a drop in stock awards.

Read's pay included a base salary of $1.9 million, up from $1.8 million in 2014. Read's bonus also shot up to $4.3 million from $3 million, the company said in a regulatory filing. That exceeded the target amount of $2.7 million but fell short of the $5.4 million it could have reached.

But Read's stock awards decreased to $2 million from $6.4 million, taking a bite out of his overall pay. It's a sour cherry on top of a largely successful year for Read, who helped the company chart some milestones.

In November, Pfizer struck a $155 billion tax inversion deal with Allergan ($AGN). The megamerger came a couple of months after Pfizer closed its deal with Hospira to gain ground in sterile injectables.

The deal with Allergan ($AGN) will create the world's biggest pharma and allow Pfizer to cash in on Allergan's tax-friendly Irish domicile. Read will take the reins of the combined company, called Pfizer PLC. Allergan CEO Brent Saunders will be Read's second in command.

Pfizer also saw some meaningful sales growth last year under Read's stewardship. The company posted Q4 revenue of $14.05 billion, partly thanks to its Hospira buy and a strong performance of its pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar 13.

Still, Pfizer is approaching its future modestly. The company is predicting 2016 revenue of $49 billion to $51 billion, which falls more than $1 billion short of the Street's prediction. The company is also staying quiet about potential plans to break up its "innovative" and "established" products into two companies.

Pfizer has enough on its plate with the Allergan deal, Read said earlier this year. The combined company needs to see whether it can run smoothly before it makes any decisions about splitting up. "Any shareholder would want these questions answered," Read said in February. "We think we are taking the right approach for shareholder value."

- here's the SEC filing

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