6. Alex Gorsky - J&J

Alex Gorsky
Chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson
Total Compensation: $16.911 million

Professional Profile: The career of Alex Gorsky, 53, at Johnson & Johnson ($J&J) is the classic story of starting at the bottom and making it to the top. He signed on in 1988 as a sales rep for Janssen Pharmaceuticals and worked his way up through sales, marketing and management until becoming president of that unit in 2001. From there it was London to serve as company group chairman of the J&J pharmaceutical business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. After 16 years at J&J, he defected to Novartis ($NVS), spending four years leading its pharmaceutical business in North America. But he was enticed back in 2008, spending the next few years rounding out his experience in top positions in J&J's diagnostics and devices businesses before being named CEO in 2012 and chairman later that year. Gorsky earned significantly more last year than the $10.980 million he got in 2012, with sizable increases in nearly every category.

Company Profile: J&J is the largest of the Big Pharma companies, a multifaceted player with businesses in devices and diagnostics in addition to its prescription drug business and consumer health operations. And in his first full year running everything for J&J, Gorsky turned in 6.1% in growth, propelled in large part by a growing drug business that raked in $28.1 billion in revenues, up 10.9%, last year.

The pharma side can rely on some older drugs like its rheumatoid arthritis med Remicade, J&J's top seller at $6.67 billion. But it has also brought out several very successful products in recent years like prostate cancer therapy Zytiga, which recorded $1.7 billion in sales for the year, growing nearly 80%. And the J&J pipeline continued to produce last year. Janssen won approval of diabetes drug Invokana, the first FDA-approved therapy from the hotly pursued class of drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors. It won an early FDA OK for Imbruvica, a drug developed with Pharmacyclics ($PCYC) for treating the rare blood disease mantle cell lymphoma that is expected to be a blockbuster. It also snagged approval for Olysio, developed with Medivir for treating hepatitis C. That one looks less promising saleswise, given that Gilead Sciences' ($GILD) new all-oral Sovaldi is taking over the market, and other drugmakers, like AbbVie ($ABBV), are expected to get their interferon-free drugs to market as well.

Gorsky has gotten to the heart of some issues, turning the consumer health businesses around after years of being a drag on earnings because of regulatory and plant issues. The company also cleared itself of the overhang of a lot of litigation, agreeing to pay out $2.2 billion to settle a case with federal authorities for the way it marketed antipsychotic drug Risperdal years back. It also agreed to pay $4.4 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits tied to its recalled metal hip implants.

On the devices and diagnostics side, which accounts for more than half of its revenues at $28.5 billion, there was also growth: nearly 4%. Just after the first of the year, the company unloaded its underperforming Ortho Clinical Diagnostics unit to the private equity firm Carlyle Group in a $4.15 billion deal. -- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

For more:
Special Reports: An ominous trend resurfaces as new drug approvals plunge in 2013 | 20 Highest-Paid Biopharma CEOs of 2012 - Alex Gorsky - Johnson & Johnson
Turbocharged pharma growth drives J&J's 2013 sales to $71B
J&J, Pharmacyclics win early approval for 'breakthrough' cancer drug ibrutinib
J&J to pay $2.2B to wrap up long-standing Risperdal marketing probe
J&J wins first FDA approval for new class of diabetes drug

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6. Alex Gorsky - J&J