Biotech CEO salaries up, but bonuses down

Life science CEOs made an average base salary of $273,000, up 3.2 percent from 2008 levels. That's according to the 10th annual Compensation and Entrepreneurship study, released by J. Robert Scott and Ernst & Young. The study authors polled more than 200 emerging, private life sciences firms, and found that the life science industry fared better in 2009 compared with executives in other technology sectors. C-suite execs polled at 500 technology firms reported that their compensation remained relatively flat at $231,000, compared with $230,000 last year.

The news wasn't all good for life sciences, however. Biotech and Pharma CEOs received average bonuses of $48,000 in 2008--or 44 percent of their target bonus--down from 73 percent in 2007.

"This is the first time in 10 years of conducting the study that we have seen anything other than an increase in technology executive total cash compensation. In fact, the average increase over the past nine years has been five percent annually," said Aaron Lapat, managing director, J. Robert Scott. "In terms of private life sciences companies, these executives may have experienced an increase in base salary because their compensation tends to be based more on clinical milestones. Clearly, the economy is driving change at these organizations."

- here's the release