Top 10 Pharma CEO Salaries of 2011

By Damian Garde

This year's look at the biggest paychecks in pharma marks the end of quite a few eras in the industry. Top earner William Weldon, of Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), is gone from the CEO seat, and the same goes for Mylan's ($MYL) Robert Coury, Novartis' ($NVS) Daniel Vasella, Amgen's ($AMGN) Kevin Sharer and Pfizer's ($PFE) Jeffrey Kindler.

In their places is a younger set, with each new member vowing to learn from the mistakes of the previous generation and make smart decisions in pharma's austere new era, in which big companies face steep patent cliffs, production difficulties and the challenge of making the most of emerging markets.

So, while 2011 was a chance for old hands like Weldon and Coury to snag one last big payday, it was also the stage debut of big-time earners like Joseph Jimenez and Ian Read, both picked as among the Top 25 influentials in the industry, who will likely become fixtures of this list in the future. The same goes for some other newbie executives who came just short of the year's top 10, including Merck's ($MRK) Kenneth Frazier, who pulled in $13.4 million, and Biogen Idec's ($BIIB) George Scangos, who grossed $11.3 million. Whoever steps in for recently deposed AstraZeneca ($AZN) chief David Brennan could climb the list next year, too, but only if he or she gets a big raise--Brennan's $5.9 million check in 2011 was hardly enough to crack the top 10.