Roger Perlmutter, Merck

2014 pay package: $8.2 million
2013 pay package: $6 million
Change: +36.6%
2014 compensation: $1 million in salary; $500,000 in bonus cash; $3.5 million worth of stock awards; $1.2 million in options; $1.8 million in nonequity incentive pay; $178,536 in pension contributions and deferred compensation earnings; and $91,663 in other compensation

Roger Perlmutter, in his first full year at one of pharma's ivory towers, pocketed the other half of his $1 million signing bonus on his way to well eclipsing the $5.8 million he made in his last year at Amgen ($AMGN) before making the jump in 2013.

Perlmutter began his tenure at Merck ($MRK) with a sweeping plan to get the giant drugmaker's once-heralded R&D division back into good health. That called for ditching an insular approach to product development and about 8,500 jobs along with it, cutting the cord on some troubled programs and putting added emphasis on external innovation.

In the ensuing year, Merck spent billions on Idenix Pharmaceuticals and Cubist Pharmaceuticals to bulk up in antiviral therapies and anti-infectives, along the way inking collaboration deals with smaller biotechs to flesh out its pipeline.

But the crowning achievement of the still-young Perlmutter era at Merck is Keytruda (pembrolizumab), an in-house discovery the R&D chief identified as a pipeline in and of itself, hitting the gas on development upon taking office. The antibody, which blocks a protein called PD-1 to help the immune system spot tumors, became the first treatment of its kind approved in the U.S. with an FDA nod late last year. And Merck is working through scores of trials with a slew of partners in hopes of locking down more and more approvals for the therapy and reaching its potential of nearly $5 billion in peak sales.

Perlmutter's group is also keeping the pace with an ambitious Alzheimer's disease program, a next-generation combination therapy for hepatitis C and a handful of vaccines for infectious diseases.

- here's the proxy

For more:
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Merck R&D chief Perlmutter gets a big jump in compensation
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Roger Perlmutter, Merck
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