Alex Philippidis Senior News Editor Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

In most cases, compensation for company leaders is growing as the potential of Dx are realized.

We live in an era where it’s possible to diagnose a disease long before the symptoms begin to appear, and Dx companies are at the forefront of this frontier. While the potential is great, some might wonder what profit there is in the field right now. Well, here’s a list that may help clarify that.

Below is a list of 10 CEOs of publicly traded companies focused on diagnostics, as opposed to drug discovery or tools/tech, as ranked by their total 2012 compensation as disclosed in proxy reports (Form DEF 14As filed by U.S.-based companies), Form 20-Fs (filed by overseas-based companies), and S-1 registration statements (filed by newly public companies).

Each listing includes the names, titles, and companies of each listed CEO; their compensation for 2012 and 2011, recorded as calendar years unless noted otherwise; the percentage change between 2011–2012 compensation; and footnotes that explain wide discrepancies in compensation or other information.

A few observations from the results: Diagnostics CEOs generally don’t get paid as much as their drug discovery and tools/tech counterparts, more than likely because the companies are younger than legacy pharmas, biotech giants, and tools/tech developers. None of the diagnostics CEOs were paid above $6 million, compared to seven tools/tech CEOs, not to mention the eight-figure compensation packages routine for biopharma leaders. However, the top 10 were all compensated above $1 million, followed by another handful of diagnostics CEOs not appearing on this list, who were paid in the high six figures—and who are likely to reach the million-dollar level as their companies continue to grow. Two women appear among the top 10 compensated diagnostics CEOs, compared to zero in the biopharma and tools/tech lists.

#10. Larry Mehren

Company: Accelerate Diagnostics (formerly Accelr8 Technology)

Title: President, CEO, and CFO

2012 Compensation: $1,152,0461

2011 Compensation: N/A

% Change: N/A

#9. Gail S. Page

Company: Vermillion

Title: Director, President, and CEO (2005–2009; 2010–2012)2

2012 Compensation: $1,289,4932

2011 Compensation: $1,627,703

% Change: -20.8%

#8. Hany Massarany

Company: GenMark Diagnostics

Title: President, CEO and Director

2012 Compensation: $1,349,6013

2011 Compensation: $2,028,306

% Change: -33.5%

#7. Geert Walther Nygaard4

Company: Epigenomics

Title: CEO (2007–2012)4

2012 Compensation: €872,500 ($1,181,494.13)4,5,6

2011 Compensation: €390,000 ($528,035.23)4,6

% Change: 123.7%

#6. Kimberly J. Popovits

Company: Genomic Health

Title: President and CEO

2012 Compensation: $2,144,086

2011 Compensation: $1,833,605

% Change: 16.9%

#5. Kevin Conroy

Company: Exact Sciences

Title: President, CEO, and Director

2012 Compensation: $2,707,615

2011 Compensation: $1,322,413

% Change: 104.7%

#4. Eric Bouvier

Company: BG Medicine

Title: President and CEO

2012 Compensation: $2,756,7757

2011 Compensation: N/A7

% Change: N/A

#3. Ron Zwanziger

Company: Alere

Title: Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President

2012 Compensation: $3,841,0808

2011 Compensation: $900,713

% Change: 326.4%8

#2. Robert A. Cascella

Company: Hologic

Title: President and CEO

2012 Compensation: $5,387,104

2011 Compensation: $6,038,2999

% Change: -10.8%

#1. Peter D. Meldrum

Company: Myriad Genetics

Title: President and CEO

Year Ending June 30, 2012 Compensation: $5,951,70810

Year Ending June 30, 2011 Compensation: $4,866,58410

% Change: 22.3%

“Total compensation” combines base salary with numerous extras including bonuses, option awards, stock awards, stock option awards, nonequity incentive plan pay, deferred compensation, matching contributions to 401(k) and pension plans, and perquisites such as automobile allowances, financial planning, and health insurance premiums.

1 Mehren was appointed CEO and CFO on June 26, 2012.
2 Ms. Page served as president and CEO from 2005 to 2009, when the company filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and rehired a year later following the company’s emergence from Chapter 11. On May 15, 2012, Vermillion announced a “mutually agreed termination without cause” of Ms. Page as president and CEO, effective December 2, 2012. Ms. Page became a consultant for the company effective December 3, 2012, when she was succeeded as interim CEO by Bruce A. Huebner, who in turn was succeeded by current President and CEO Thomas McLain effective March 18, 2013; Mr. Huebner remains with the company as its chairman of the board.
3 Mr. Massarany joined the company as President and Chief Executive Officer in May 2011.
4 Mr. Nygaard left the Executive Board and the company on September 30, 2012. He was succeeded by CFO Thomas Taapken, Ph.D., who holds both CEO and CFO positions.
5 Increase in 2012 total compensation reflects the inclusion of a one-off payment to Mr. Nygaard in connection with his retirement, according to the company.
6 Figures converted to U.S. dollars via on December 2, 2013.
7 Mr. Bouvier was appointed President, CEO and Director effective January 9, 2012. His 2012 compensation was based on an annual base salary of $400,000; most of his compensation reflects his receiving a stock option to purchase 725,675 shares of our common stock as an inducement material to his acceptance of employment in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The stock option, valued at $2,356,775 was granted January 9, 2012, the commencement date of his employment, at an exercise price of $5.17 per share, the closing price of the company’s common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market that day. The stock option has a 10-year term, vests over four years with 25% of the stock option vesting on January 9, 2013 and the remaining 75% of the stock option vesting in equal installments on a quarterly basis thereafter, and contains certain acceleration provisions in the event of a change of control of the company.
8 2012 compensation includes the aggregate grant date fair value of $2.94 million in stock option awards made during 2012, in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation (FASB ASC Topic 718), excluding estimated forfeitures.
9 2011 compensation includes a retention payment of $1 million that became payable as a result of the executive remaining employed by us until October 22, 2010, pursuant to the terms of a Retention and Severance Agreement executed in October 2007.
10 Company operates on a fiscal year that begins July 1 of the previous year.

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