by Madeleine Hubbard
Moderna is under fire after financial records showed the biotech company’s CEO Stéphane Bancel earned around $393 million in 2022 from stock options he exercised as he received a 50 percent raise.
Bancel, whose firm is known for producing the COVID-19 vaccine, received $1.5 million in 2022, an increase of 50 percent from 2021, and Moderna increased his target cash bonus, a March securities and exchange commission filing shows.
The National Institutes of Health gave $1.7 billion in taxpayer funding to Moderna to develop the COVID vaccine, putting the CEO’s salary and stock options under scrutiny. Even with the funding, Moderna President Stephen Hoge said last month that he expects to raise the price of the company’s COVID vaccine to about $130 per dose.
After the SEC report was published, Bancel said he and his wife generated $393 million from the sale of stock options and they donated $176 million in after-tax proceeds to charity in 2022. Bancell still owns stocks worth at least $2.8 billion with additional stock-based compensation that was worth $1.7 billion by the end of last year, according to The Washington Post on Saturday.
The COVID pandemic contributed to the company’s rapid boom. At the beginning of 2020, before the outbreak of the pandemic, Moderna’s stock was valued at less than $19 a share. By Friday, Moderna’s stock hit more than $132 a share.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) criticized Moderna in a Senate hearing last month about the company’s intentions to raise the vaccine price.
“In the pharmaceutical industry today, we are looking at an unprecedented level of corporate greed, and that is certainly true with Moderna,” he said.
Others online have criticized the company since The Post’s report.
“Moderna’s billionaire CEO reaped nearly $400 million last year. He also got a raise. This guy should thank [Dr. Anthony] Fauci. What a joke,” tweeted former Trump 2016 campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski.
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