Lilly CEO Ricks stands to make about $12M in first year at helm

Dave Ricks, the new president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Co., has been given a first-year compensation package worth up to $12 million, according to a company filing.

Ricks will get a base salary this year of $1.4 million, according to a proxy statement filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also will be eligible for an annual cash bonus with a target value of 150 percent of his base salary, or as much as $2.1 million. In addition, the board has given Ricks an award as part of the company’s annual equity incentive program with a grant value of $8.5 million.

Ricks joined Lilly in 1996 and most recently served as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines. He took over as president and CEO on Jan. 1.

He succeeded John C. Lechleiter, who retired Dec. 31. Lechleiter last year had a total compensation package of $15.2 million, an amount that doesn't include changes in his pension value, according to the proxy filing. The compensation package included a base salary of $1.5 million, stock awards of $11 million, non-equity incentive plan compensation of $2.6 million, and $90,000 in other compensation.

Lechleiter is expected to serve as non-executive chairman until May 31. On June 1, Ricks will succeed him as chairman.

Lilly’s board praised Lechleiter in the proxy statement for overseeing the launch of several new products in recent years, including cancer drugs Cyramza and Portrazza and diabetes drugs Trulicity, Jardiance and Basaglar.

“Dr. Lechleiter continued to set a positive tone of integrity, inclusiveness, safety, and compliance in his internal and external interactions,” the statement said.

However, the company’s most watched experimental drug, solanezumab for Alzheimer’s disease, failed in final-stage trials in November. It was a stinging setback for Lilly, which had spent more than $3 billion over the past 27 years trying to find a treatment for a disease that is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.

Last year, Lilly stock fell 9.4 percent, ending the year at $73.55 per share. But it has since rebounded and was trading at $84.63 in midmorning trading Monday.

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