Peter Kim, Merck ($MRK)
2012 Pay Package: $6.52 million
2011 Pay Package: $5.99 million
2012 Compensation: $1.14 million in salary; $1.73 million in stock awards; $1.2 million in option awards; $1.18 million in incentive pay; $1.22 million in pension growth and deferred compensation; $58,415 in other compensation
Recently succeeded by ex-Amgen ($AMGN) R&D chief Roger Perlmutter, Peter Kim had been president of Merck Research from 2003 to 2013. Kim earned credit for some of Merck's biggest R&D successes, including the diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet, which reeled in combined sales of more than $5.7 billion in 2012. The shingles vaccine Zostavax and human papillomavirus shot Gardasil also made their way out of Merck's labs during his tenure. According to data from the drug industry consultancy InnoThink, Merck brought 16 new drugs to market over the 15-year period ending in 2011.
The long view looks a lot better than more recent history, though. Merck hasn't introduced a new drug able to earn more than a billion dollars a year in the past 6 years. And that likely sealed Kim's fate.
Particularly galling, Merck doesn't have much to show for an R&D budget that's among the biggest in the business. In just one example of Merck's recent trip-ups, the company pulled its HDL cholesterol drug Tredaptive from the European market and abandoned its bid for FDA approval on the drug, after serious side effects doomed a late-stage trial. There's also the lingering delay for Merck's osteoporosis drug odanacatib. One bright spot: After a long delay, Merck finally submitted its FDA approval application on the cardio drug vorapaxar.
With Perlmutter now in charge, change is coming, but it's not clear how sweeping it might be. The new R&D chief recently told analysts that he's planning a re-org that will at least involve stripping out bureaucracy and refocusing biologics development.
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-- Emily Mullin