John Martin--Gilead Sciences

John Martin
CEO and Chairman, Gilead Sciences

2012 pay: $15.26 million
2011 pay: $15.62 million
Change: -2%

Professional Profile: Under the leadership of its 61-year-old CEO and chairman, Gilead ($GILD) wowed the biotech world in 2012 with a strategy to take the lead in the race for next-generation treatments for hepatitis C virus. The Foster City, CA-based biopharma group has a chance to dominate the HCV market in the same way the company has become No. 1 in sales of HIV meds--offering simplified and highly effective treatment. Gilead's $11 billion gamble to acquire Pharmasset could stand above all others as a turning point for the company as a world leader in antiviral drugs. Yet John Martin's high stack of compensation reflects a series of accomplishments from last year on the business side as well as in growing the oncology business.

2012 Compensation Stack: Like other executive officers at Gilead, Martin counts the bulk of his compensation from equity awards. And his compensation dropped by more than 2% because the value of his stock awards fell to $4.95 million from $5.54 million in 2011 and his option awards were down to $5.43 million from $5.86 million the previous year, according to an SEC filing. His bonus was $3.38 million and his salary was $1.49 million last year. Though down from last year, he makes more than all but one of his biotech CEO peers.

Company Performance: Martin has overseen some major moments at Gilead during his 23-year career with the company, yet last year he oversaw some major developments at the company that should have an impact on the business for at least another decade. Investors have applauded his moves, and Gilead's stock has shot up by 111% over the past 12 months, passing Amgen ($AMGN) for the largest market cap among the Big Biotech crew along the way.

Gilead gained oodles of additional market value, which stood at $83.5 billion on May 13, from the blockbuster buyout of Pharmasset for $11.2 billion. Gilead leapt into late-stage development of the first all-oral HCV therapy based on sofosbuvir, the "nuc" drug and prized asset acquired in the Pharmasset deal. Sofosbuvir-based regimens have produced upbeat data in Phase III studies over the past year, putting Gilead at the fore of $20-billion-plus market opportunity.

Last year Gilead won FDA approval of the HIV treatment Stribild, which packs four drugs into a single pill. It was the third such single-pill regimen from the company in the U.S. The company also garnered a green light in the U.S. for Truvada, which is two drugs in one pill, for the controversial use of preventing HIV infection in high-risk individuals.  

Such combo pills have enabled Gilead to accumulate the largest branded HIV drug franchise in the world and fueled a 16% growth in sales to $9.4 billion last year.

Gilead wants to repeat the all-in-one pills strategy in HCV, which today involves varying doses of both oral antivirals and injections of interferon. The company started Phase III testing of a pill that contains sofosbuvir and ledipasvir last year, in a move to rapidly advance the treatment to market.

Gilead's lucrative HIV business throws off cash to wager on other growth areas such as its R&D in oncology, which grew through the company's $510 million buyout of YM Biosciences, which closed in February.

For more:
Special Reports: The 25 most influential people in biopharma today - 2013 - John Martin - Gilead Sciences | Gilead Sciences - The Biggest R&D Spenders in Biotech

John Martin--Gilead Sciences
Read more on

Suggested Articles

Medimmune’s Ronald Herbst, Ph.D., has followed a series of other AstraZeneca and its biologics arm staffers out the door.

The takeover will give Alexion two clinical-phase medicines in development in complement alternative pathway-mediated rare diseases.

Last year, Eli Lilly spent $1.6 billion to get its hands on Armo Biosciences and its lead asset, pegilodecakin. Today, that drug flopped.