Pharma CEOs lost in the executive-pay shuffle

Last week, we gave you our rankings of the highest-paid executives in biopharma. This week, the Wall Street Journal is out with its CEO compensation ranking, so we thought we'd put pharma pay into context. The short version: No drug company CEO broke the WSJ's top 20, and only four hit the top 50. A half dozen ranked within the top 100.

A few words of caution: The WSJ uses different methodology, which makes its numbers quite different from ours. Also, the newspaper ranks only the CEOs of the 350 biggest U.S. companies, so smaller drugmakers aren't even considered. It doesn't include pharma types that left with a golden handshake, a la Pfizer's Jeff Kindler. Still, it's instructive to see how pharma fares in comparison with media, software, and commodities firms, all of which had CEOs in the top 10.

So, here are the top-ranking drug CEOs: Amgen's Kevin Sharer, with $20.38 million, came in 23rd on the list. Merck chief Richard Clark nabbed the 38th slot with $17.85 million. Johnson & Johnson's Bill Weldon, whose paycheck has inspired some controversy this year, ranked 43rd, at $17.45 million. And Abbott Laboratories' Miles White captured the 47th spot with $17.03 million. That's all for the top 50.

The only two other drug chiefs in the top 100 are Gilead Sciences CEO John C. Martin, in 71st place with $14.24 million, and Eli Lilly's John Lechleiter, who took 96th with $12.66 million. Search the rest of the list for your favorites. Oh, and just so you know: No. 1 on the list was Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, who racked up a cool $84.3 million.

- get the WSJ executive-pay chart
- check out the Journal's story

Special Report: Top 10 Biopharma CEO salaries of 2010