AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez received $26.2 million in total compensation last year according to a company financial filing Monday. 

Gonzalez, who served at Abbott for three decades and has led AbbVie as CEO since 2013, received a base salary of $1.7 million, $15.3 million in stock awards and nearly $3.6 million in option awards. 

He also accrued almost $4 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $439,000 in change in pension value and non-qualified deferred compensation earnings as well as $1.3 million in all other compensation. 

Gonzalez’s 2022 compensation marks an increase compared to the nearly $24 million he earned in 2021, which was down slightly from his 2020 earnings. 

Notably, he wasn’t the only well-compensated AbbVie executive.

Vice chairman, external affairs and chief legal officer Laura J. Schumacher made $11.6 million. Schumacher also announced her retirement in October after two decades with the company. 

Vice chairman and president Robert Michael had a total compensation of $9.7 million, while EVP, chief commercial officer Jeffrey Stewart received $9.6 million. Additionally, EVP of operations Azita Saleki-Gerhardt received just under $9 million and EVP, chief financial officer Scott Reents received $5.6 million. 

Gonzalez’s time at the helm of AbbVie has been nothing short of a success, positioning the organization to be the biggest pharma company by 2028, according to one recent industry forecast. 

Still, despite AbbVie’s solid performance, highlighted by full-year net revenues rising 3.3% to $58 billion, executive compensation continues to be a lingering industry issue.

Healthcare executive compensation increased 4.5% last year, according to a SullivanCotter survey, while the 2022 MM+M/AbelsonTaylor Career and Salary Survey found mixed results among what leaders want from their jobs and how much they expect to be paid for it. 

How much pharma executives are paid has become both an external and internal issue for some organizations.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), heads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and has been publicly critical of Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel’s estimated net worth of $5.52 billion, even accusing him of profiting off of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Moderna vaccine was co-developed between Moderna and [the National Institutes of Health] and received billions of dollars in assistance, guaranteed sales, and you know what’s happened in the last couple of years,” Sanders told Kaiser Health News last month. “The CEO of Moderna is now worth $6 billion. All their top executives are worth billions. And now they are threatening to quadruple prices.”

Additionally, executive compensation played a major role in the quarrels at Bayer AG in recent years. Outgoing CEO Werner Baumann survived a non-binding shareholder vote in late April 2022 after some investors expressed concerns about Bayer’s compensation package for top executives.