As Covid-19 vaccine was being developed, Moderna shelled out more than $1M for top executives' security
As Moderna worked in overdrive to create the second Covid-19 vaccine granted emergency use authorization by the FDA, it spent more than $1.1 million on security for its top executives — the overwhelming majority of which went to keeping CEO Stéphane Bancel safe.
More than $1 million was spent on security costs for Bancel in 2020, according to a proxy filing published this week. CMO Tal Zaks, who in February announced that he will leave the company later this year, received $143,719 for security. The company also spent $16,380 on security for President Stephen Hoge, and $28,161 on SVP Juan Andres.
The spending increase addressed security concerns as the company pursued the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, the report said.
“In response to the increased profile of our Company and our executives as we pursued the development of a vaccine against COVID19, in 2020 the Company authorized the provision of personal and home security services to certain of our NEOs,” the report stated.
That $1 million in security fees rounds out Bancel’s $13 million pay as Moderna CEO. Around $9 million of that came in stock options, while more than $945,000 was totted up for salary and $1.9 million for a bonus.
In July, Reuters reported that Chinese government-linked hackers targeted Moderna in a cyberattack, in an attempt to steal data. The US Justice Department publicized an indictment of 2 suspects accused of spying on the US, including 3 unnamed targets involved in medical research to fight the virus. Moderna confirmed to Reuters that the company had been made aware of the suspected hacking activities by the FBI.
Chinese officials have rejected the claims as baseless. Reports that Russia also has tried to steal Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics research in the US, UK and Canada also came out in July from Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre. That report also did not specify which groups had been targeted, but The Telegraph reported that the teams involved in the AstraZeneca vaccine had been subjects of the attack.