Total Compensation: $16.7 million
Professional Profile: After joining Novartis ($NVS) in 2007 as the head of its consumer unit, in 2010 Joe Jimenez took over the top spot at a healthcare giant comprising pharma, eye care, generics, vaccines and diagnostics, consumer products and animal health (though that list is about to get shorter). Between earning his MBA at UC Berkeley and taking the reins at the Swiss drugmaker, he also served as an adviser for private equity organization Blackstone Group and as a nonexecutive director at AstraZeneca ($AZN).
Company Profile: Much of Novartis' 2013 was characterized by its strategic review, with Jimenez hinting that flagging businesses like vaccines, animal health and consumer products would be shaping up or shipping out. Before the blockbuster asset swap it made with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in April of this year, it got the divestment party started last November with a $1.7 billion sale of its blood diagnostics unit to Spain's Grifols.
That deal provided a high point for the company, as did the continued absence of Ranbaxy's generic of blood pressure med Diovan. The lack of a rival from the Indian drugmaker, brought on by manufacturing troubles, allowed Novartis to hike its forecast twice last year. But the company had its fair share of low points, too, one of which also centered on Diovan. In May, Novartis opened an investigation after learning that a company employee had been affiliated with a Diovan study without revealing his ties. By the end of the year, Japanese officials said they were preparing to prosecute the company for false advertising after two universities found falsified data in that study.
Another scandal cropped up in China, where a whistleblower called 'Zorro' alleged that the company's Alcon unit used a middleman to pay doctors for working on nonexistent postmarketing clinical trials. Then there was the lost patent protection bid on Glivec in India, the rare brain infection tied to multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya, and the recall of 4.4 million bottles of Maalox due to manufacturing woes at Novartis' plant in Lincoln, NE.
Speaking of Lincoln, in April, that facility was named the site of 300 job cuts that will follow by 2015. Alcon will match that total, while an R&D site in Horsham, U.K., will top it with 371 jobs under the knife. Fifty vaccines workers in California will face the same fate, too, the company said in October. -- Carly Helfand (email | Twitter)
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