173 to 1: Bristol-Myers chief Caforio picked up a $19.4M compensation deal after leading the charge for $74B Celgene buyout
Bristol-Myers Squibb went right down to the wire on its proxy statement. And just days after investors provided a stamp of approval for its huge $74 billion Celgene buyout, the big biopharma outfit disclosed the top pay it provided to its executive team.
CEO Giovanni Caforio led the way up in 2018, grabbing a compensation package valued at $19.4 million, an increase over the $18.7 million recorded for 2017. It’s also in line with his pace for the last few years, with 2016 compensation coming in at just under $17 million.
The average pay at Bristol-Myers is $112,174 for its staff, putting the pay ratio for Caforio at 173 to 1.
There’s been considerable grumbling in the ranks of investors about the Celgene deal, with some analysts and its top investor shaking their heads over the buyout. But Caforio retains the support of a large majority of its stockholders, and there won’t be much kickback over this kind of a raise.
CSO Tom Lynch, meanwhile, saw his compensation slide a bit, largely because of the absence of the $1.4 million bonus he got in 2017, when he stepped up to run the R&D show. That puts him right in the pack of Big Pharma science czars, and well behind George Yancopoulos at Regeneron, who’s in a league of his own when it comes to pay.
Bristol-Myers launched Opdivo with great success, racking up billions in sales. But a resurgent Merck overtook Bristol-Myers last year for the top spot, dulling Caforio’s prospects as revenue began to flatten. Bristol-Myers has stuck with a combination approach using the CTLA-4 drug Yervoy, without much to boast about. And their retreat to patient groups with a high tumor mutational burden has also met with regulatory skepticism.
Soon the focus will shift to a post-buyout reorganization and the 6 late-stage drugs that Caforio has been boasting will be added to the pipeline. The CEO’s 2019 compensation package will say a lot about how Bristol-Myers makes out on that score.