- The new CEO of Sanofi, Bayer exec Olivier Brandicourt, could make as much as $4.5 million for taking the job, in addition to an annual salary of $4.76 million per year.
- Stephane Le Foil, a French government spokesperson, called Olivier Brandicourt's package "incomprehensible."
- Although pharmaceutical executives tend to have high salaries, especially CEOs, this does not go over very well in France, which prides itself on egalitarianism, and also has a healthcare system in which the government pays for drugs.
While much of the negative feedback from French government officials directed towards Sanofi suggests that the company is encouraging executive greed, Sanofi is an investor-owned government company which generates many of its revenues in the U.S., other Western European countries, and emerging markets.
In fact, according to Sanofi's Web site, it is the number one healthcare company in emerging markets. And the company isn't always so kind to its execs, especially when things don't end well: Ousted chief Chris Viehbacher will be eligible for a $7.8 million exit fee that's contingent on certain financial targets, and doesn't qualify for a Sanofi pension.