Norbert Bischofberger, Gilead ($GILD)
2012 pay package: $5.4 million
2011 pay package: $4.79 million
2012 compensation: $815,026 in salary; $975,800 in incentive pay; $1.69 million in stock; $1.91 million in options; $7,500 in other compensation
Before joining Gilead in 1990, Norbert Bischofberger served as a senior scientist at Genentech's DNA Synthesis Group for four years. Gilead promoted him to vice president of research and development in 2000, and then to CSO in 2007. Since then, he has overseen development of the company's leading HIV medications, a hefty antiviral pipeline, and new growth in the oncology department. Meanwhile, Gilead bought Pharmasset--and its hepatitis C medication GS-7977--in late 2011 for $11 billion, handing late-stage development over to Bischofberger and his team.
Best known as a leader in HIV treatment, Gilead hit a milestone in 2012 with Truvada, the first AIDS-fighting pill to win FDA approval for preventing HIV infection. Soon after, the company followed up with Stribild--a.k.a. the Quad--a four-drug cocktail that includes two brand-new treatments. But HIV isn't all Gilead can do. Thanks to the 2011 acquisition of Pharmasset, Gilead has taken the lead in the race for next-generation hepatitis C treatments. The FDA recently granted priority review to GS-7977--now known as sofosbuvir--a highly anticipated new treatment. If sofosbuvir is approved quickly, the company will claim an enviable spot in what analysts believe could be a $20 billion market.
Tellingly, Gilead has executed one of the most impressive development programs in the industry with sofosbuvir. The likely approval this fall of one of the most closely watched combos in the hep C pipeline gives Bischofberger plenty of reasons to be in this group of top R&D chiefs.
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-- Skye Toor