12. Giovanni Caforio, Bristol-Myers Squibb
2018 pay: $19.38 million
2017 pay: $18.69 million
As Bristol-Myers Squibb pushes ahead with its Celgene megamerger, the drugmaker disclosed that its helmsman Giovanni Caforio took home a 4% pay raise in 2018 to $19.38 million. While the deal will put the company among the top echelon of Big Pharma, for now Caforio’s pay ranks outside of the top 10.
The Bristol-Myers chief won his pay raise in 2018 thanks to sales growth, earnings growth and other wins, the company's proxy filing states—and despite the company's shortfall against some of its R&D goals.
BMS “exceeded … financial goals in key areas, including continued growth across our core prioritized brands," the proxy said, and totted up $22.6 billion in revenue, an increase of 9%.
But the company acknowledged it didn’t meet all its pipeline benchmarks—otherwise, it might not have agreed to shell out $74 billion for Celgene in a deal it hopes to close later this year. BMS did manage "important scientific advancement of clinical assets that continue to diversify our pipeline," the proxy argues.
The company also gave Caforio credit for his 2018 work on the Celgene offer, announced Jan. 3 of this year.
Overall, the company’s mixed performance in 2018 is likely a reason why Caforio’s pay grew only slightly, when other biopharma chief executives collected raises in the double digits, such as Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos' 18% bump.
Still, Caforio’s $19.38 million total puts him in twelfth place among the industry's highest paid, based on company proxy filings. And unlike Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky or Pfizer ex-CEO Ian Read, he didn't watch his 2018 pay shrink.
In immuno-oncology, where Bristol spends much of its energy these days, the company suffered setbacks last year and into early this year. In October, the company disclosed that the FDA had requested additional data on its Opdivo-Yervoy combination in previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer, and by January it had pulled the application.
The drugmaker has also stumbled in head and neck cancer, and it faces new competition in other indications. Take kidney cancer—a key indication for Opdivo, which brought in $6.7 billion total last year—where it now faces Merck's Keytruda, a head-to-head rival that's taken the top spot in the PD-1/L1 field.
“Although we made significant progress in advancing our innovative medicines pipeline in 2018 and our pending acquisition of Celgene's portfolio strengthens our strategic position, we recognize that there is still more work to be done,” Bristol's proxy filing said, going on to list the therapeutic areas where BMS is advancing clinical assets.
Caforio’s salary grew only slightly last year to $1.637 million, while his stock awards grew by about $350,000 to just over $13 million. His nonequity cash bonus was slightly up as well, to just over $4 million. Caforio’s other compensation, which included company contributions to savings plans and some travel for family, came to about $664,000.