Glaxo CEO Walmsley’s Pay Cut 14% After Covid Hits Sales

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GlaxoSmithKline Plc cut its chief executive officer’s pay by 14% after the pandemic caused the company to miss targets for sales of vaccines against other diseases.

Emma Walmsley’s total remuneration for 2020, outlined in the company’s annual report Tuesday, was 7 million pounds ($9.7 million), down from 8.1 million pounds in 2019. Glaxo said the pay cut partly reflected the fact that management missed its internal budget for biopharmaceuticals, largely driven by global lockdowns keeping people away from doctors’ offices for routine vaccinations.

Glaxo CEO Walmsley’s Pay Cut 14% After Covid Hits Sales

Since Walmsley took the helm of the British drug giant four years ago she’s made strides to restructure Glaxo and rebuild its pipeline. The company, which has been overtaken by U.K. rival AstraZeneca Plc in recent years in terms of profitability, is in the process of splitting its consumer and pharmaceutical businesses and plans to more than double the number of blockbuster medicines -- drugs with annual sales of more than $1 billion -- by 2026.

Astra detailed executive pay in its annual report last month, with CEO Pascal Soriot handed a total of 15.4 million pounds for 2020. Soriot, who has been running Astra for twice as long as Walmsley, has been credited with turning the company’s fortunes around. Both pay packages are subject to a shareholder vote at the companies’ annual general meetings in the coming months. Soriot faced a potential revolt over his pay last year that didn’t come to pass. His compensation was also contentious in 2017 and 2018.

Both Astra and Glaxo have been at the forefront of efforts to develop Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, though Astra has so far met with more success. The company’s shot developed with the University of Oxford has been approved for use in more than 50 countries, while a number of Glaxo’s partnerships have stumbled. A vaccine the company is developing with Sanofi was delayed last year after a dosing error.

Walmsley is paid about half the amount of some peers. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla received $17.9 million for 2019. Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson’s chief, was handed a total package of $25.4 million that year.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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