John Martin, Gilead Sciences

Chairman and CEO, Gilead Sciences
Total 2014 Compensation: $18.96 million

For a record-smashing year that vaulted Gilead Sciences ($GILD) into the ranks of pharma's global top 10, CEO John Martin snared a comparatively small payoff.

True, Martin's 2014 compensation grew by $3.5 million, to almost $19 million. That's a 23% increase. Plus, the payoff from stock options Martin exercised last year was more than $158 million.

That's not at all shabby. The patient advocates who protest Gilead's aggressively high prices--not to mention payers looking for bigger discounts--might say it's more than enough.

But $18.5 million for a biotech CEO with a record-smashing year? A 23% increase? Other biotech chiefs took down more for their 2014 performances. Regeneron ($REGN) CEO Len Schliefer, at the top of this list, collected more than $30 million. Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX) CEO Jeffrey Leiden, $45 million. Actavis ($ACT) CEO Brent Saunders got an $18 million special share grant for the Allergan buyout that closed earlier this year. Plenty of other examples in the biopharma proxies this year, too.

Martin's pay package sounds more like a Big Pharma setup, fittingly enough, given Gilead's new position as the 10th-largest drugmaker in the world: base salary of $1.6 million, options worth $5.2 million, and stock awards amounting to $8.4 million. Cash incentive pay was an impressive $3.72 million. All that's missing is the pension.

For more:
Special Report: Top 15 highest-paid biopharma CEOs of 2013 - John Martin, Gilead
Gilead's huge Sovaldi payoff yields a nice 23% pay hike for CEO
The $600 million man: Gilead CEO's stock gains push compensation way past estimates
Gilead's John Martin scores 'best CEO' trophy for huge stock gains
Orphan drug pricing for non-orphan meds? Express Scripts is looking at you, Gilead
World's best CEOs? Gilead, Allergan, Novo and Valeant make top 10

John Martin, Gilead Sciences
Read more on

Suggested Articles

Pfizer isn't giving up in biosims. This week, it unveiled launches to three Roche blockbusters, with two already on the market.

Novo Nordisk is betting big on GLP-1 Saxenda in its global obesity push, but England's cost watchdog is unimpressed with the drug's long-term outlook.

Tecentriq didn’t show benefit against simple observation at delaying cancer recurrence or death in patients with muscle-invasive urothelial cancer.