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CEO of Moderna to Soft Land on Golden Parachute

Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, will be getting a handsome separation payout when he leaves the developing vaccination behemoth. The company’s board of directors has approved a $926 million Golden Parachute for Bancel as his reward for directing Moderna through the successful development and supply of a COVID-19 vaccine. The windfall was revealed in the company’s 2022 proxy statement this week.

Moderna’s revenues increased from $803 million in 2020 to $18.5 billion last year, as the company made and delivered over 807 million doses of its mRNA injection. Moderna expects to make even more money this year, forecasting $22 billion in vaccine sales. Bancel’s “change-in-control” package was worth $9.4 million before the pandemic. Moderna’s star turn, however, changed all of that. His new contract includes shares worth $922.5 million, a $1.5 million severance payment, and a $2.5 million incentive if the company is sold or he is dismissed.

Moderna’s executive compensation is tightly linked to the company’s stock, according to the proxy report. Other Moderna executives’ Golden Parachute are constructed similarly. For example, President Stephen Hoge’s compensation package is around $160 million, while Chief Technical Officer Juan Andres’ compensation package is more than $53 million. Last year, Bancel earned $18.2 million in total remuneration, up from $12.9 million in 2020 and $8.9 million in 2019.

Moderna recently modified its compensation peer group, which is a list of similar companies that a company utilises to ensure that its executive benefits are competitive. Rather than significant biotechs like Alnylam, Sarepta, and Incyte, Big Pharmas like AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck, and Pfizer now make up Moderna’s new upmarket neighbourhood. In 2022, the new peer group will be used to determine the remuneration of Moderna executives.

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