NantKwest's billionaire CEO pocketed $148 million in total compensation last year
- Last year, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong earned nearly $148 million in total compensation, almost entirely in the form of stock options, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Soon-Shiong's yearly salary was $1.
- The sum could make Soon-Shiong the highest-paid CEO in any industry last year, reports Bloomberg.
- Dr. Soon-Shiong runs NantKwest, a company focusing on developing personalized therapies based on analyzing DNA and other healthcare data. He also launched the National Immunotherapy Coalition earlier this year.
When Soon-Shiong took NantKwest public last July, there was a lot of excitement over the potential therapeutic application of the natural killer, cells in the immune system. The stock came out of the gate fast, but has floundered since then and is now trading at $9.00. This could dampen the value of Soon-Shiong's stock options.
And last month some investors filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that NantKwest misled investors by failing to disclose stock-based awards for Soon-Shiong.
Despite these challenges, Soon-Shiong compensation outpaces other CEOs' pay packages by orders of magnitude. In 2014, Len Schleifer, CEO of Regeneron, took home $42 million, wmaking him the best paid CEO that year, according to Fierce Pharma.