Total Compensation: $9.96 million
Professional Profile: Heather Bresch, 43, has spent 20 years at generic drugmaker Mylan ($MYL), hopscotching up the organizational chart through 15 different functional areas. She headed up Mylan's North American operations before becoming COO and chief integration officer, the job that may have made her career. She led the integration of two different international acquisitions, Matrix Laboratories and Merck KGaA's generics business. She ran the day-to-day operations of the company as president after that, and then, on January 1 of last year, she took on the CEO job. She's active in Washington on the generics industry's behalf and played an instrumental role in advocating for the new Generic Drug User Fee Act.
Compensation Breakdown: At $998,077, Bresch's base salary is the only one on our list to dip below $1 million. But her stock and options helped make up for that, at $2.84 million and $1.38 million, respectively. Plus, her incentive pay amounted to $2.375 million. She received $1.96 million in pension benefits and deferred compensation, plus $405,683 in other compensation, including $133,346 in personal use of the company aircraft.
Company Performance: Where Big Pharma suffered from patent expirations on its biggest drugs, Mylan reaped the benefits. The company grew sales to $6.8 billion, an increase of 11%, and it boosted cash flow above $1 billion for the first time, which convinced Standard & Poor's and Moody's to raise their credit ratings on the company. The company also expanded geographically, launching commercial operations in India for the first time with a portfolio of HIV drugs and adding an oncology plant to its network there. Mylan teamed up with Gilead Sciences ($GILD) in a move to get generic versions of the brand-name maker's HIV drugs into developing countries at low cost. Mylan also teamed up with Pfizer ($PFE) to market generic drugs in Japan.
Considering Bresch's experience integrating acquisitions, it's not surprising that Mylan is scouting for deals. Earlier this year, the company snapped up Strides Arcolab's injectables unit for $1.6 billion and bought an oncology API plant to add to its Indian operations; at press time, it had just been rejected in a $15 billion bid for generics rival Actavis ($ACT).