Pharma CEO pay ranks high, but not very

It's well documented how pharma executives' pay stacks up within the industry. But it's also interesting to see how drugmaker CEO pay compares with compensation in other industries. So, we checked the Wall Street Journal's annual executive pay survey to see where pharma chief executives ranked.

Only two pharma execs ranked within the WSJ's top 25, and one of them--Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Bill Weldon, at No. 19 with $19.8 million--heads up a company that's as much into healthcare supplies and consumer goods as pharma. You could argue that Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) CEO Miles White, at No. 25 with $18.7 million, runs a diversified company rather than a pure drugmaker, too; after all, Abbott is heavy into medical devices and equipment, diagnostics, nutritional products and eye care products in addition to drugs.

Farther down the list, we have Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMS) Jim Cornelius, at No. 36 with $16.7 million; Eli Lilly's ($LLY) John Lechleiter, at No. 41 with $16.3 million; and Pfizer's ($PFE) Jeff Kindler, at No. 50 with $15.1 million. All big-time Big Pharma, all fighting their individual battles to keep sales on the upswing as key drugs go off patent.

Which industries have the highest-paid execs, then? Media conglomerates accounted for three of the top five and and other healthcare-related companies took three of the top 10 seats: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Boston Scientific, and McKesson. Oil & gas companies, financial firms and tech companies were well represented, too.

- see the WSJ rankings