AmerisourceBergen Corp.’s former chief legal officer John Chou received more than $4.4 million in total compensation in 2021, the company reported Thursday.
Chou’s compensation package included $690,000 in base salary and more than $2.4 million in stock awards, making him the fourth highest compensated named executive officer at the Conshohocken, Penn.-based drug manufacturer.
He received $4 million in 2020 and $3.5 million in 2019, according to AmerisourceBergen’s most recent proxy filing.
AmerisourceBergen—along with Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp., and Cardinal Health Inc.—last year agreed to a $26 billion settlement to resolve thousands of opioid-related lawsuits against the companies. The company also agreed in January 2021 to buy Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s pharmaceutical wholesale business for $6.5 billion.
Chou announced his retirement last August after nearly two decades with AmerisourceBergen. Former deputy general counsel Elizabeth Campbell replaced him as legal chief, though Chou is staying with the company as executive vice president and special advisor to the chairman and CEO through early 2022.
Chou joined AmerisourceBergen in 2002 and succeeded former general counsel William Sprague in 2008. Before joining the company, Chou was also an associate with Morgan Lewis and Weil, Gotshal & Manges. He has also worked for Arco Chemical Europe Inc. and Cigna Corp.
Chou’s compensation package makes him one of the higher-paid legal chiefs at pharmaceutical and drug companies in the U.S., but he isn’t the top earner.
In 2020, AbbVie Inc.’s vice chairman of external affairs and chief legal officer Laura Schumacher was awarded $17.1 million in total compensation. Abbot Laboratories general counsel Hubert Allen received more than $5.9 million, according to company proxy statements. Neither company has reported executive compensation for 2021 yet.