Lilly execs pull down $48M

It's that time of year again: CEO salary time, when we gather round the water cooler to ooh and ahh over our bosses' paychecks. Today, it's Eli Lilly workers who'll have that privilege, thanks to the Indianapolis Star. The top six execs at Lilly garnered $48 million in pay last year, the Star reports.

Who got a raise? CEO John Lechleiter (photo), for one; he took in $13 million last year, up 39 percent from 2007. Of that, $1.34 million was base salary, which bumped up by 17 percent from last year. And he's been CEO only since April. Chairman emeritus Sidney Taurel (photo) also got $13 million, in addition to the $40 million retirement package that awaits him.

Lilly's board gave Lechleiter credit for snatching ImClone Systems out from under Bristol-Myers Squibb's nose in a $6.3 billion buyout. Directors also praised him for the company's operational results: sales grew 9 percent to $18.6 billion, and though the company posted a $2.07 billion loss, that was largely because of ImClone acquisition expenses.

- see the BNet Pharma story
- get more from the Indianapolis Star
- read the AP story on Taurel's retirement