Gilead CEO John Martin's true compensation could be $600 million
- A new analysis of U.S. CEO compensation by Reuters finds that the chief executives of America's biggest companies enjoyed far more substantial overall pay packages than originally estimated thanks to the massive surge in the stock market.
- One name on the list of lavishly compensated CEOs that will be familiar to biopharma industry watchers? John Martin, chief of Gilead Sciences.
- According to the Reuters analysis, Martin's compensation between 2009 and 2013 (when considering stock options and massive advances in Gilead shares that consistently outperformed the company's estimates) is actually around $401 million and could reach $600 million by summer.
The $600 million projection is a far cry from the $75 million that Gilead reported Martin's compensation to be over the same time frame. But that's simply the reality of a bull market that's been catapulting biotech valuations at a record pace. Gilead's shares have surged threefold since the end of 2008.
Reuters' analysis implies that many of the executives enjoying these lavish de facto compensation boosts by dint of stock fortune haven't necessarily overseen company growth that matches the broader market's enthusiasm. But it's a bit harder to make that case for Martin, who has led Gilead straight into the biopharma history books with the production and marketing of revolutionary products like Sovaldi and Harvoni.