Was AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot happy with his $14.8M in ’18 compensation? Probably not so much

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot made headlines when he moaned about the poor pay he took home for 2017, forced to live on about $13 million in total compensation. That made him one of the worst paid — though certainly not the worst — big pharma execs in the world. So he’s not likely to be much more excited by the small growth in compensation he had for last year.

In a newly filed annual report, Astrazeneca revealed that Soriot’s annual compensation swelled to £11.3 million, up from £10.4 million for the year before. That’s a bump of 9%. Translated to dollars, that’s $14.8 million for all of 2018, with a tiny raise in base salary (to £1.25 million) and a smaller bonus, with better long-term incentives.

This past year was a big one for Soriot, who could claim that the pharma giant had finally hit rock bottom on revenue and started to see the numbers grow again. The tidal shift, which he has promised will be an enduring trend, came just before he started an R&D restructuring that will now absorb MedImmune as R&D is split two ways, between cancer and everything else.

“The truth is I’m the lowest-paid CEO in the whole industry,” he told the Times last fall — words that were widely noted at the time. “You know, it is annoying to some extent. But at the end of the day, it is what it is. I’m not going to complain, but me and Emma (Walmsley, chief executive of Glaxo Smith Kline) are the lowest-paid in Europe and the US.”

Those words were thrown back at him during the Senate hearings on drug pricing last week. But that’s what happens when you get the big money. Or, in this case, not big enough.

Image: Pascal Soriot. AP IMAGES

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

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