Moderna’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, has been given a 50% pay raise, bringing his annual salary to $1.5 million, after he sold $400 million worth of stock. This comes at a time when the company is facing criticism for raising the price of its COVID-19 vaccine from $26 to $130.
Stock Market Success
Despite the backlash, Bancel’s stocks have seen an increase of nearly $2 billion, with his target stock increasing by 67% in 2021. The CEO has stated that he plans to donate the proceeds from his stock sales to charity.
Criticism Over Vaccine Price Hike
Moderna’s decision to increase the price of its COVID-19 vaccine has sparked outrage, with the shot estimated to cost only $1.18 to make, making the markup a staggering 10,000%. Senator Bernie Sanders has publicly criticized the company, stating that “we are looking at an unprecedented level of corporate greed, and that is certainly true with Moderna.”
Taxpayer-Funded Support Package
It is important to note that Moderna received a multi-billion-dollar support package from the US government as part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which aimed to accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Despite turning an estimated $39 billion profit last year, the company’s decision to raise the vaccine price has led to widespread criticism.
When asked about the price increase in January, Bancel defended the move by stating that “the previous price was massively discounted… we got help from the US Government.” However, this justification has not been enough to quell the growing criticism surrounding Moderna’s decision.
Moderna’s CEO has received a substantial pay raise despite facing backlash over the company’s decision to increase the price of its COVID-19 vaccine. While Bancel has stated that the proceeds from his stock sales will be donated to charity, the price hike has raised concerns over corporate greed and the ethics of vaccine pricing. It remains to be seen how the company will address these criticisms moving forward.
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