Bristol, Allergan chiefs nab big raises

Two drugmakers that managed to boost revenues in 2008 added some growth serum to their CEOs' pay packages, too. Bristol-Myers Squibb's Jim Cornelius (photo) got a whopping $8 million raise (even though much of it was an options-vesting technicality that kicked it because Cornelius turned 65). Meanwhile, Allergan's David Pyott (photo) netted a $700,000 increase.

Let's take Bristol first. Cornelius made $21.7 million in 2008, up from $13.5 million in 2007. That's a 60 percent increase. The company's revenues didn't jump as much, percentagewise: $20.6 billion, a 13.2 percent increase from 2007's $18.2 billion. But EPS growth amounted to almost 16 percent, in the top ranks of the pharma biz. According to Bristol's proxy, the company blew its targets out of the water, so Cornelius wasn't the only one who got a fat pay envelope: Its top five execs earned some $11 million in bonuses.

But Cornelius and his fellows in the executive suite lost some perks during 2008, the WSJ Health Blog notes. Personal air travel on company planes: Nixed. Company cars: Bye-Bye. Season tickets to "cultural and sporting events": Sorry, Jim. In return, the company goosed salaries upward by 2 percent to 5 percent.

For 2009, Cornelius is slated to get a 7 percent salary increase (as opposed to total compensation, which will largely be determined by bonus/performance awards, of course). How will the average BMSer fare? As part of its cost-cutting program, Bristol is cutting its raise pool by 50 percent for 2009 in the U.S. Domestic employees at the top of the performance scale will get a 2 percent merit increase.

Allergan's Pyott and his team shepherded a half-billion dollar increase in Allergan revenues, and a $78 million profit increase. All told, the top five executives got a $24 million pay boost. But Pyott's package dwarfed the rest; at $11.9 million, it was almost three times the pay President Michael Ball enjoyed, $3.7 million.

- see the Bristol item at the Health Blog
- read more on Allergan at BNet Pharma