Top 17 Paychecks in Big Pharma

by Tracy Staton and Maureen Martino

Few statistics are as hotly debated as CEO pay reports. Investors, analysts, and the just plain curious all want to know how much the head honcho makes--and how one company's chief stacks up against another's. So here for your rubbernecking pleasure are the 17 highest-paid CEOs in Big Pharma. While the names themselves probably won't be a surprise, their pecking order might. For instance, the biggest drugmaker by sales--Pfizer--doesn't have the highest-paid executive, and one of the relatively small fry counts its chief among the top 10.  

We've already ranked CEO pay at the industry's top five biotechs, but it's worth noting that if they had been included on this list, Amgen's Kevin Sharer and Genentech's Arthur Levinson would have ranked fifth and sixth behind Wyeth's Bob Essner. Genzyme's Henri Termeer made $14.6 million in 2007, coming in ahead of Merck's Richard Clark, and Gilead's John Martin made $10.8 million, slightly less than Roche's Humer.

For U.S. companies, FiercePharma's numbers are based on total compensation reported in their proxy statements. The numbers include base salary, bonus and "other" compensation in 2007. For overseas companies not required to file proxies in the U.S., we gleaned executive pay information from various press reports. Though we did as much due diligence as we could to make sure these reported totals were apples-to-apples comparisons, there's a chance we may have missed something. Feel free to let us know.

1. Miles White - Abbott - $33.4M

2. Fred Hassan - Schering-Plough - $30.1M

3. Bill Weldon - Johnson & Johnson - $25.1M

4. Bob Essner - Wyeth - $24.1M

5. Robert Parkinson - Baxter - $17.6M

6. Daniel Vasella - Novartis - $15.5M

7. Richard Clark - Merck - $14.5M

8. Frank Baldino - Cephalon - $13.5M

9. Sidney Taurel - Eli Lilly - $13M

10. Jeff Kindler - Pfizer - $12.6M

11. Jim Cornelius - Bristol-Myers Squibb - $11.3

12. Franz Humer - Roche - $11.1M

13. Robert Coury - Mylan - $8.5M

14. Jean-Pierre Garnier - GlaxoSmithKline - $6M

15. Werner Wenning - Bayer - $4.77M

16. David Brennan - AstraZeneca - $4.3M

17. Gerard Le Fur - Sanofi-Aventis - $3.27M