Ranking pharma's highest-paid execs

If you want to see how pharma's CEO pay stacks up against other big companies' compensation, check out the Wall Street Journal's executive compensation survey out today. As the WSJ Health Blog notes, Big Pharma's biggest paycheck went to Abbott Laboratories' Miles White, who nabbed an $18 million-plus package. Sounds like a lot until you hear how much Motorola's CEO got in 2008: An eye-popping $104 million.

Yep, Johnson & Johnson's Bill Weldon ($17.55 million), Merck's Dick Clark ($17.25 million), and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Jim Cornelius ($17.2 million) came in close behind White's $18 million figure. (Clustered all together, too, on the WSJ's list.) Pfizer's Jeff Kindler isn't far behind with $16.6 million.

But as lopsided as some pharma executives' pay may seem when compared with company performance--and at a time when the human toll of job cuts numbers in the thousands--it can't be nearly as scandalous as what's on top of that 200-CEO list. Is that the all-but-insolvent Citigroup's Vikram Pandit up there at No. 3 with almost $50 million? Or Philip Morris' CEO Louis Camilleri near the top with more than $38 million? Read the numbers and weep.

- check out the Health Blog post
- see the pay list at the WSJ