Eli Lilly's David Ricks snared $24M pay package in a year turbo-boosted by Covid-19 antibody
Boosted by booming sales of its Covid-19 antibody bamlanivimab, Eli Lilly posted double-digit growth in 2020 despite a more steady showing from its legacy portfolio. In his fourth year at the helm, CEO David Ricks will tout 2020 as a win — particularly for his pocketbook.
Ricks secured $23.7 million in pay in 2020, a roughly 11% bump from the previous year, the Indianapolis drugmaker disclosed in a proxy filing with the SEC.
Most of that bump was tied to increases in Ricks’ pension value as well as his stock awards. The four-year helmsman snared $13.6 million in stock, or about $1.3 million more than 2019. Ricks’ base salary saw a small increase to $1.48 million — a little more than the $1.4 million flat he bagged in 2019.
In a year light on travel, Ricks also racked up about $40,000 in corporate air expenses, Lilly said, which includes paying the crew, fueling and “on-board catering,” among other fees.
It was a big year for Ricks as Lilly oversaw the development and commercialization of LY-CoV5555 (bamlanivimab), a Covid-19 antibody that is one of few molecules approved for emergency use in the US. On the year, bamlanivimab snared $871 million in sales — nearly a blockbuster despite what has been less-than-stellar uptake for antibodies across the board.
With bamlanivimab in the fold, Lilly saw a 10% increase in sales in 2020 to $24.54 million. But outside of its antibody, the picture at Lilly is a little less clear. Bamlanivimab not included, Lilly’s sales jumped just 6% on the year — well within range for Big Pharma but not quite the double-digit growth that catches eyeballs.
Ricks is also likely stinging from the ouster of his CFO Josh Smiley, who was kicked out of the company this month — and stripped of around $24 million in pay — for an “inappropriate messages” scandal with other employees. Lilly said Smiley will be “available” to Ricks and new CFO Anat Ashkenazi through July of this year on reduced biweekly pay of $9,000. Lilly will still hold on to its 24-month non-solicitation agreement in Smiley’s contract as well as an 18-month non-competition pact.
Smiley was Ricks’ handpicked appointee for CFO back in 2017 as the then-new CEO looked to rework Lilly’s stagnant business plan. One of Lilly’s homegrown success stories, Ricks started on with the drugmaker back in 1996 as a business development associate before steadily rising through the ranks over the course of 25 years.