Pascal Soriot’s pay packet was up from £3.3m the previous year and consisted of an annual bonus of £1.9m, equivalent to 170 per cent of his base salary, according to the firm’s 2014 annual report.
Soriot was hailed last year for ensuring that AstraZeneca didn’t get gobbled up by Viagra- maker Pfizer.
He successfully fended off a £70bn bid from the US giant, despite major pressure from shareholders to rubber-stamp the deal. Observers said then his stance secured several thousand British jobs and the UK’s role as a centre for drug development.
Soriot’s pay is expected to begin rising again from 2016 as part of a long-term incentive plan that could see him net up to 250 per cent of his base salary.
However, last year AstraZeneca witnessed one of its biggest shareholder revolts over executive pay when 40 per cent of investors refused to back the company’s remuneration report. A third also failed to back its proposed pay policy and almost half voted against the re-election of Jean-Philippe Courtois, a non-executive director on its audit committee.