12. Severin Schwan - Roche

Severin Schwan
CEO and board member, Roche
Total Compensation:
$13.54 million

Professional Profile: Severin Schwan, 47, is referred to in Roche ($RHHBY) reports as "doctor" because he received a doctorate in law from the University of Innsbruck in 1993 after getting an undergraduate degree in economics. He joined Roche as a trainee in the corporate finance operations in Basel, but after only two years, he was made head of finance and administration in Brussels. He moved through the ranks in Europe and Asia before being named CEO of Roche Diagnostics in Basel in 2006 and then CEO of the entire Roche Group in 2008. His total compensation was essentially unchanged from the preceding year. Swiss francs converted at a rate of 1.136 to the dollar.

Company Profile: Roche is known for its position in oncology, and Schwan kept that reputation burnished last year. The company's Genentech unit has spent some years working to get new targeted cancer drugs to market before a few of its workhorses, like Herceptin, face biosimilar competition. Last year it got approval for Kadcyla, which followed on the heels of Perjeta: both for treating HER2-positive breast cancer and both gobbling up huge market share and revenues. Then in September, the FDA crowned Perjeta as the first cancer drug approved to treat breast cancer patients before surgery.

But how would a CEO earn his sizable salary if everything went unfettered? The early part of the year saw problems keeping up with demand for influenza treatment Tamiflu, and plant and packaging issues caused a brief shortage at year end. The company also lost its R&D guru, Hal Barron, who left to join Google's nascent healthcare startup Calico.

Schwan also tinkered with the company's diagnostics business, jobs were lost and it decided to close down the gene-sequencing business 454 Life Sciences, which it bought in 2007. Oh, and in the fly-shooing category of management matters, he was constantly denying rumors of big buyouts of companies like Alexion ($ALXN) and BioMarin ($BMRN). -- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

For more:
Special Report: 20 Highest-Paid Biopharma CEOs of 2012 - Severin Schwan - Roche
Roche highlights strong 2013 sales of cancer drugs, vows to boost dividend
Genentech resolves plant backup quickly but timing was bad
Roche's Perjeta nabs speedy FDA nod in early breast cancer
Roche picks a new R&D boss as Barron ships out for Google
Genentech resolves plant backup quickly but timing was bad

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12. Severin Schwan - Roche