After landing a historic FDA OK, Alnylam chief John Maraganore scores a big raise

It took more than 15 years all told, but last year Alnylam $ALNY finally made the big leap into commercializing the first of the RNAi drugs that it had been developing. And CEO John Maraganore and his top team at the bellwether biotech enjoyed a multimillion-dollar windfall on their success.

Maraganore isn’t competing for a place in the top 15 by any means. But he earned a compensation package worth a little more than $5 million — most of it in option awards — which is well under the $7.7 million earned by Emma Walmsley, who currently holds the bottom rung of the Big Pharma compensation ladder for 2018.

That $5 million marked a big spike on the $1.4 million Maraganore earned in 2017. 

Commercial chief Barry Greene came into his own with close to $3 million in compensation, up from $944,145. R&D chief Akshay Vaishnaw went from $915,218 to $2.6 million, with COO Yvonne Greenstreet paralleling that while CFO Manmeet Soni saw his package slide from $4.5 million — which included his recruitment bonus — down to about $1.4 million.

What a feeling,” Maraganore told me last summer as patisiran cleared the final hurdle to an FDA approval. “Having been for almost two decades fighting the good days and the bad days, with lots of challenges and near-death moments. It’s all about working hard to get something done.”

That transformative success came with a raise. The hard part is making it pay off for investors in the long run.

Image: John Maraganore.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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