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
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