1. Robert Coury

Even with EpiPen price hikes making headlines, Robert Coury's pay package skyrocketed to $97 million.

Robert Coury
Chairman, Mylan
2016 compensation: $97 million

It was a tough year for Mylan in 2016, when the company’s history of big price increases on its EpiPen epinephrine pen suddenly made headlines—along with the fact that the company had underpaid Medicaid rebates for years. Capitol Hill hearings and federal investigations ensued. Analysts predicted huge declines in EpiPen sales.

That controversy certainly didn’t weigh on Chairman Robert Coury’s compensation. Partly because of an exit package he collected when moving from executive chairman to nonexecutive chairman—and a whopping $20 million cash “performance opportunity”—Coury’s package skyrocketed to $97 million.

Coury’s bonus of $20 million would beat most of Big Pharma’s CEO hauls all by itself. His stock awards—$50 million-plus—would fall short only of Valeant chief Joseph Papa’s $62.7 million tally. The outlays were enough to prompt a shareholder revolt, with institutional investors calling on fellow shareholders to vote against Coury’s re-election as board chairman.

In essence, Coury’s compensation is a golden parachute, with a couple of bells and whistles attached, as disclosed in the company's annual U.S. securities filing. Last June, Coury shrugged off the “executive” part of his title in favor of the nonexecutive chairman role. That switch triggered “transition” benefits—essentially payouts that were waiting till he made his exit as an employee.

Most of these benefits and awards have already been disclosed, Mylan is quick to note. In fact, the company’s proxy says, Coury’s “direct compensation” has actually been declining year after year—from $22.8 million in 2016 to $18.3 million last year to $10.5 million for 2017.

The $20 million cash bonus: Back in 2014, Coury negotiated a new employment contract for his new job. This $20 million "performance incentive opportunity" was part of it.

If he “satisfactorily performed his key leadership responsibilities” and “remained employed” by Mylan through the end of 2016 Coury would collect. And he did, despite the fact that he came off the employee roster in June.

Another $22.9 million is made up of “separation payments”—three times his annual cash compensation (salary and bonus) plus three years’ worth of health benefits—$265,196—and aircraft use worth $4.58 million.

Then there’s that $50 million in stock awards, which don’t fall into the previously disclosed category. About $4.5 million are garden-variety performance shares. Most of the rest—$43.56 million—are a retention bonus of sorts.

The rest of Coury’s 2016 pay pales in comparison. There’s $1.63 million in base salary, $1.48 million in options and $947,398 in cash incentive pay.

CEO Heather Bresch, meanwhile, took in a comparatively modest $13.77 million.

1. Robert Coury