Mylan CEO Bresch nets $5M raise for 2019, likely her final full year on the job

Heather Bresch
CEO Heather Bresch will likely say goodbye to Mylan after 29 years if its merger with Pfizer's Upjohn is approved. (Mylan)

Mylan is the final stages of its megamerger with Pfizer's Upjohn unit, a deal that will reshape the global generics market if it passes regulatory scrutiny. For Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, the deal wrapup means she'll be out of a job after nearly three decades at the company––but at least she'll go out with a big raise.

Bresch scored an $18.5 million pay package in 2019, a more than $5 million increase from the previous year, according to an SEC filing

The 29-year Mylan vet's base salary bumped up slightly to $1.5 million from $1.3 million the year before, and Bresch saw a big bump in equity-based compensation. Bresch's stock awards jumped to $9.45 million from $7.28 million the previous year. The value of her pension and deferred compensation also increased substantially—by $2.4 million—bumping up her overall total.

Bresch also benefitted from a more than doubling of her "all other compensation" tally from $333,000 in 2018 to $751,000 last year. The single biggest driver of that boost was realized value on Bresch's life insurance policy, which added $196,000 to the total. 

However, Bresch's corporate air travel also took a leap. That value of that perk jumped to $256,267 in 2019 compared with $98,268 the year before. Bresch also saw an $80,000 bump in her restoration plan contribution and a slight bump in her automobile allowance to $20,891. 

Meanwhile, Bresch scored a hefty boost in cash incentive pay to $3.39 million––a nearly $800,000 increase––and a parallel decrease in her option awards to $1.05 million. 

RELATED: Merger of Mylan and Pfizer's Upjohn wins EU nod with product sell-off agreement

The year 2019 is likely Bresch's last at Mylan as the generics giant maneuvers through the final stages of a megamerger with Pfizer's Upjohn generics unit.

In April, the drugmakers scored EU regulators' approval to form the new company, dubbed Viatris, after agreeing to sell some of Mylan's generic drugs across 20 countries in the European Economic Area and the U.K. 

Officials spotted 36 specific overlaps covering a dozen drugs that raised antitrust concerns. These included Pfizer’s Revatio—a sister drug to its popular erectile dysfunction therapy Viagra—for pulmonary arterial hypertension in countries such as France and the U.K. Mylan has a generic version of the pill.

As part of the merger agreement, Bresch will step away from the new company, while Mylan's executive chairman, Robert J. Coury, will jump over to the same role at the new firm.

RELATED: Mylan crowns ex-CEO Coury as exec chairman as Upjohn merger drags on

Meanwhile, the novel coronavirus pandemic has slowed the FDA's review of the deal and pushed back the target closing date of mid-2020, and Mylan has tapped Coury, Bresch's immediate predecessor, to lead the firm's response. 

Mylan in April announced that Coury, former chairman of the board and CEO, would take on the executive chairman role to "formalize and align" his title to the work he's already been doing as Mylan responds to the novel coronavirus pandemic and pieces together its integration plans for the Upjohn merger. 

Coury, who stepped away as CEO in 2012 in favor of Bresch, held the executive chairman's job from 2012 to 2016. 

In taking on the new title, Coury will keep his base salary of $1.8 million a year, with any additional compensation "determined by the Viatris Board of Directors (should the merger close) or by the Mylan Board if it does not," according to an SEC filing. 

Coury will also immediately keep his controversial corporate air travel agreement, which provides him 70 hours of flight time or a cash payment of up to $1.5 million on a prorated basis. 

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