May 20, 2019

Hologic's MacMillan lands fifth in U.S. for CEO pay

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Hologic CEO Stephen MacMillan took home $42 million last year, making him the highest-paid Central Massachusetts executive.

Hologic CEO Steve MacMillan was the fifth-highest-paid CEO among the country's largest public companies, according to the latest annual analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

MacMillan, who has led the Marlborough medical equipment maker since 2013, took home $42 million last year, thanks in large part to a $30-million bonus the company paid him when he was being lured by competitors. That put him ahead of the biggest household names among top American companies, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet's Larry Page or General Motors' Mary Barra.

MacMillan's compensation was first reported by the Worcester Business Journal in January after the pay was disclosed in the company's annual proxy.

Hologic's board voted in 2017 to give MacMillan a $30-million special retention equity grant as it worried he'd leave for other opportunities. The board addressed the decision with shareholders, saying it voted unanimously to give to bonus after careful consideration and that it didn't envision making another such payment again.

Stock awards and options brought MacMillan's pay to $39 million, in addition to his base salary. Hologic has seen sharp increases in revenue during MacMillan's tenure, hitting $3.2 billion last year.

Another Central Massachusetts CEO made The Wall Street Journal's list but for another reason: IPG Photonics CEO Valentin Gapontsev took home just $1.7 million, the fifth lowest of any head of a S&P 500 company.

Two of those four who made less than him — Page, whose company runs Google, and Twitter's Jack Dorsey — accepted token $1 salaries.

Gapontsev has been locked in a legal battle with the U.S. Treasury after the federal government included the Russian national as an oligarch, part of allegations tying Gapontsev to ill-gotten wealth connected to the Russian government. Gapontsev has said his wealth is directly tied to his company and the laser technology he invented while living and working in Russia.

Either way, Oxford-based IPG Photonics has suffered lately. First quarter profit declined 48% and revenues declined 12% year-over-year, which the company attributed to challenging economics globally.

As for the four CEOs who made more than MacMillan last year, the top earner as Discovery's David Zaslav, who made $129.4 million, most of which came from stock options. He was followed by Linde's Stephen Angel, with $66.1 million; Disney's Robert Iger, with $65.6 million; and Jefferies Financial's Richard Handler, with $44.7 million.

Median pay for 2018 was $12.4 million.

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