How Much Did These Pharma CEOs Earn in 2017?

pile of Money

For those select few who achieve the role of chief executive officer of a multi-national corporation, the compensation packages are typically quite large – especially when compared to the average salaries of company employees.

An analysis conducted by 24/7 Wall Street revealed the compensation packages of some of the world’s biggest companies and their CEOs. Many of the compensation packages are seven and eight figures. Of the 101 highest-paid CEOs, eight of those come from the pharmaceutical industry. The compensation data was based on revenue for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, according to a report in The Daily Mail.

The pharma CEO with the highest compensation during that time period was Gilead Sciences' John Milligan, who stepped down from his role at the California-based company at the end of 2018. According to the report, Milligan made $26 million in total compensation for the reporting period. During that same year, Gilead Sciences posted revenues of $26.1 billion, the Daily Mail said. Milligan’s compensation earned him the 10th place spot on the list of 101 CEOs.

In thirteenth place was Miles White of Abbott Laboratories. White received a $24.3 million compensation package at the company, which had $27.4 billion in revenue for the reporting period, according to the report.

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Coming in at number 27 is AbbVie’s Richard Gonzales. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2017, Gonzales took home with total compensation of $21.3 million. That year, AbbVie’s top-selling drug Humira generated about $17 billion in revenue for the Illinois-based company.

Merck’s Kenneth Frazier earned $20.9 million in 2017, according to the report. That total compensation placed him at number 30 on the 24/7 Wall Street list. Close behind Frazier is Pfizer’s Ian Read, who came in at number 36 on the list with total compensation of $19 million.

Robert Bardway, CEO of Amgen, logged the 45 spot with total compensation of $18.6 million and Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky claimed the 48 spot with a compensation of $18.2 million.

The last pharma CEO to earn a spot in the top 101 of highest compensated CEOs is Eli Lilly’s David Ricks. In 2017 he earned a total compensation of $17.2 million, according to the report. 2017 was Ricks first year as CEO of the Indianapolis-based company. His tenure began with a shakeup of leadership and company organization as it looked to recover from its failed Alzheimer’s drug, solanezumab.

In addition to the pharma CEOs, the list also included a few other CEOs from life science-related companies. Larry Merlo of CVS Health earned $21.9 million and Stefano Pessina of Walgreens Boots Alliance took home $13.5 million. They came in at 23 and 81, respectively on the compensation list. Timothy Wentworth of Express Scripts took home $15.9 million and came in at number 66 on the list.

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