Baxalta President and CEO Ludwig Hantson received almost $19 million in 2015 for running a company that was not even a year old.
Almost half of Hantson's compensation included a one-time award for founding the Bannockburn, IL.-based company, which was formed in July when it spun off from Deerfield-based Baxter International.
Its independence didn't last. In a $32 billion deal, Baxalta is becoming part of Irish drugmaker Shire after initially balking at its proposal. The marriage will create a powerhouse orphan drugmaker for rare diseases.
Baxalta, which generated $6.1 billion in revenue in 2015, specializes in products that treat the bleeding disorder hemophilia.
The merger is expected to be finalized midyear.
Hantson, 53, was president of Baxter BioScience before taking the helm at Baxalta when it was spun off. In 2015, he made $18.6 million, more than four times his compensation the previous two years, according to a new company filing. Besides option awards, which included the fee for founding Baxalta, Hantson's 2015 pay also included a $1.1 million salary; $4.5 million in stock awards and a $3 million bonus.
A Baxalta spokesman referred to the company filing when asked what achievements led to Hantson's compensation. In one section, for example, the filing said Baxalta's compensation committee considered the roles and contributions of certain executives in achieving the company's 2015 financial results and the "delivery of tremendous value to shareholders" through negotiating and signing the merger agreement with Shire.
"Here's how much Baxalta's chief made last year" originally appeared in Crain's Chicago Business.