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Sanofi CEO's 2018 pay falls to €7.3M as value of stock option declines

Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt's compensation for 2018 fell to €7.3 million compared with €9.8 million earned in 2017 due to a decline in the valuation of stock options and performance shares awarded to the executive.

The pay cut comes amid a rocky period for the French drugmaker. Sanofi's flagship diabetes franchise is under pressure from U.S. lawmakers for its steep price amid a broader national debate on drug pricing, and the company's dengue vaccine is under investigation by Philippine authorities in a criminal probe.

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Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt

Source: Sanofi

Brandicourt has become the public face of the drug pricing issue for Sanofi, having appeared in a U.S. Senate hearing in February where he was grilled by lawmakers on their drug pricing practices.

The Sanofi executive's compensation depends on numerous factors and the company's overall performance, such as sales growth, business net income, product launches, clinical trial starts and more.

Brandicourt reshuffled Sanofi's pipeline in 2018 to focus on specialty care, including cancer and rare diseases, shelving nearly 13 development projects and 25 research projects.

Another pillar in Brandicourt's compensation is external growth, such as mergers and acquisitions. Brandicourt oversaw $13 billion in acquisitions in 2018 to strengthen the company's pipeline.

New for Brandicourt's compensation in 2019 is a corporate social responsibility criteria introduced by the board. The new metric, which will make up 5% of Brandicourt's 2019 compensation, is an effort by Sanofi's board to take into consideration the impact the company's operations have on social and environmental issues. The measure arose following feedback that was received by Sanofi's chairman from principal shareholders.