George Yancopoulos, Regeneron ($REGN)
2012 pay package: $81.55 million
2011 pay package: $10.03 million
2012 Compensation: $850,000 in salary; $1.96 million in bonus; $57.28 million in stock awards; $21.44 million in option awards; $29,065 in other compensation
George Yancopoulos spent two decades on his way to the top of this list. As the company's founding scientist, he forged a path for the company's three FDA-approved drugs, Eylea, Zaltrap and Arcalyst. Now president of Regeneron Laboratories and chief scientific officer, Yancopoulos admits that he gets job offers from Big Pharma all the time--and as the numbers show, Regeneron CEO Dr. Leonard Schleifer is determined to keep him around. The biggest chunk of Yancopoulos' 2012 pay was a retention bonus of sorts: a 500,000-share restricted stock award that vests in 2017. Worth $53 million at the time, by press time its value had grown to $134 million.
It also helps that Regeneron's eye drug Eylea hit U.S. markets with a bang. Launched in November 2011, Eylea brought in $838 million last year and is expected to reach $1.3 billion this year. Yancopoulos' group notched another 2012 success with the FDA's approval of Zaltrap, the colon cancer drug Regeneron now markets with the French drugmaker Sanofi ($SNY).
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-- Emily Mullin