14. Kenneth Frazier - Merck

Kenneth Frazier
CEO, Merck
Total Compensation: $13.4 million

Professional Profile: Kenneth Frazier, 59, didn't take a traditional path to the CEO's chair. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he started his Merck ($MRK) career in the company's legal department and made his way up to EVP and general counsel. After leading Merck's defense of the Vioxx litigation, he earned a promotion to president of the drugmaker's global human health business. From there, he took the CEO's office in 2011 and stepped into the chairman's role later that year.

Company Profile: It wasn't easy being Merck in 2013. Sales declined 7% to $44 billion, down from 2012's $47.3 billion haul. That hit was primarily thanks to Singulair's patent cliff, though several other products--including osteoporosis med Fosamax and cholesterol drug Vytorin--saw their sales sink as well.

That's not to say there weren't bright spots. Vaccines was one, with HPV jab Gardasil upping sales by 12% and pushing the unit's haul to about $4.8 billion. The company also made advances in the clinic on a closely watched cancer immunotherapy candidate and a highly anticipated hep C combo treatment.

But in the year's last quarter, Merck announced a $2.5 billion global overhaul--its fourth major sweep since 2008. After laying out plans to slash 8,500 jobs from its R&D and commercial operations, the cuts began rolling in; in November alone, Merck announced it would ax 500 jobs in West Point, PA, as well as close two plants in Puerto Rico. -- Carly Helfand (email | Twitter)

For more:
Special Report: 20 Highest-Paid Biopharma CEOs of 2012 - Kenneth Frazier - Merck
Merck CEO says $14B consumer sale is enough dealmaking for now
Merck CEO: We'll decide fate of animal health, consumer biz by year's end
Struggling Merck slashing 8,500 jobs in major R&D, commercial reorganization

14. Kenneth Frazier - Merck
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