Big year at Amgen delivers $2M pay hike for CEO Bradway

Amgen CEO Robert Bradway

Amgen had a big year in 2015, as its newly filed proxy statement takes pains to emphasize. Revenue grew to $21.7 billion, an 8% hike. Adjusted profits took an 18% upward turn. Plus, the company launched 6 new products, including the PCSK9 med Repatha and the rare blood cancer med Blincyto.

Another key number made an upswing, too: CEO Robert Bradway's 2015 pay package grew by 15% over 2014.

Bradway racked up a $2.1 million increase in compensation, to $16.1 million, thanks to stock awards and cash incentive pay that each rose by about $1 million. Stock awards--in the form of shares that vest based on long-term performance targets--grew to $10.2 million from $9 million in 2014. His cash bonus amounted to $3.84 million, up from $2.9 million.

Bradway's base salary stayed steady at $1.5 million, and $551,000 in other compensation, which included retirement benefits, a car and driver, and personal use of the corporate aircraft.

In the field of pharma CEO pay this year, Bradway lines up alongside Eli Lilly & Co. CEO John Lechleiter, whose company suffered its patent-cliff "trough year" in 2015; and newly minted Bristol-Myers Squibb chief Giovanni Caforio, with $15.64 million. Bradway beat the CEOs of both Swiss-based Big Pharmas, Novartis and Roche.

Other CEOs enjoyed far bigger pay hikes, however. Shire chief Flemming Ornskov's compensation zoomed to $21 million from $4 million in 2014. And Horizon Pharma CEO Timothy Walbert scored $93 million in 2015 compensation, more than 10 times his 2014 pay.

It's worth noting, as Amgen did in its proxy statement, that the company's "say on pay" vote at last year's annual meeting tallied at 97% in favor. Not all Big Pharmas can say so; Bristol-Myers revamped its compensation structure for 2016 after only 58% of its shareholders approved of the 2015 numbers.

- get the Amgen proxy