Business, People

Despite some nagging demerits, Incyte CEO Hervé Hoppenot still bagged $16M in compensation — a 35% increase

Hervé Hoppenot, Incyte CEO

Incyte CEO Hervé Hoppenot had a long list of items on his 2017 to-do list. And while he may have missed a few of those goals, he nevertheless came away with a brand new pay scale that upsized his compensation package by 35%.

Taking credit or earning demerits based on the success of the crew at Incyte, Hoppenot ended the year with a pay packet worth $16 million, up from $11.8 million in 2016. And it’s a long way — 166% higher — from the relatively modest $6 million he pulled down in 2015.

Hoppenot’s spike in pay had a lot to do with a big increase in option awards, while his $966,505 base salary edged up just a bit.

One big miss last year was on stock $INCY performance. His pay went up big time while shareholders saw the value of the company’s stock drop from $121.21 to $90.29, a 34% drop. The stock closed yesterday at $87.01.

A number of biopharma CEOs scored big in 2017, though, despite some languishing stock prices. Allergan CEO Brent Saunders benefited from the mood of generosity with a $32 million bundle. Pfizer CEO Ian Read, meanwhile, bagged an $8 million bonus for agreeing to stay on to next spring — after a 40-year stretch at the pharma giant.

Among Incyte’s setbacks in 2017 was a rejection for baricitinib, partnered with Eli Lilly. A new administration represented by FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb helped set that right, though, and regulators agreed to relent on its demands for more safety data, putting the drug back in the regulatory rotation.

Hoppenot’s chief accomplishment was moving epacadostat to the very front of the IDO1 line, making the upcoming readouts one of the most closely-watched events in the R&D field. But even here not everything went according to schedule, according to the proxy. Certain predefined milestones for the big ECHO pivotal trials were not met, though we don’t know what those were.

But Jakafi net sales goals were met, and the R&D group moved forward in a number of fronts, including the nomination of a “promising” new potential drug candidate.


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