Takeda pays U.S. exec twice as much as CEO

In a vivid illustration of an overseas divide on executive pay, Takeda Pharmaceutical pays its American chief of international sales more than twice as much as it pays its Japan-based CEO. EVP Alan MacKenzie got a pay package worth 553 million yen ($6.2 million) for the 12 months ended March 31, Bloomberg reports. CEO Yasuchika Hasegawa, meanwhile, earned 223 million yen over the same period.

Japanese pharma has been expanding into foreign markets, stymied by lack of growth opportunities at home. So naturally, the companies need overseas staff. And Takeda isn't alone among Japanese drugmakers in paying overseas executives more.

Eisai's U.S. unit chief Lonnel Coats earned 140 million yen for the most recent fiscal year, while CEO Haruo Naito got 136 million yen. "A generous base salary and bonus payment is the standard practice to attract talent overseas," Teruo Seno of Korn/Ferry International tells Bloomberg. "Japanese companies must pay more than what they typically would in Japan to hire or keep foreign-recruited talent."

But there's not just a disparity between Japan-based and U.S.-based management in Japanese pharma. There's also a contrast between what the leaders of European drugmakers earn and what their U.S. counterparts get. In many cases, U.S. execs are paid millions more than their European colleagues. But that's a whole other story.

- read the Bloomberg piece