Chairman and CEO, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
2016 compensation: $62.7 million
Valeant CEO Joseph Papa, who took the helm of the foundering company last April, raked in $62.7 million in pay for 2016. And while most of it—$42 million—came in the form of stock awards, Papa also netted a $9.1 million cash bonus on top of his $980,769 base salary.
Valeant brought Papa on as a turnaround chieftain at a time when key product sales were lagging and the company was in danger of defaulting on billions in debt. And then there was Valeant’s shredded reputation, with the public and with investors, who exited in droves, driving the share price down from $101 at the end of 2015 to sub-$15 levels by the time 2016 closed out.
That’s because Valeant didn’t make much progress last year. One of his most pressing tasks was selling assets to pay down debt, and while Papa orchestrated a couple of small asset sales, talks fell through last year for a whopper Takeda deal that would have brought in $10 billion in exchange for Valeant’s Salix unit.
For Papa’s pay, that didn’t matter much, thanks to Valeant’s generosity. Only $1.1 million of Papa’s bonus was a reward for his individual performance, Valeant said in its proxy statement. While “the financial goals that were established at the beginning of the year were not sufficiently achieved to result in a payout” of Papa’s annual cash incentives, the company tossed him 50% to tip its cap to the “significance and quality” of his contributions.
“The board is very supportive of Mr. Papa’s efforts to date and is confident in his abilities and those of his team to lead us through our transformation,” Valeant said.
The other $8 million in Papa’s bonus pay was a thank-you for taking the job in the first place. To put that in context, it amounts to almost half the sum he made at his former company, Perrigo, for the entire of 2015.
Valeant paid out to its ex-CEO, J. Michael Pearson, as well, including $10.5 million in severance pay, plus nearly $500,000 in consulting fees after he handed over the reins.