An Update — On The Legendary Dr. Roy Vagelos — At Regeneron

We last checked in on the long retired former Merck chairman (mandatorily retired from Merck in 1995), back in January 2014. In the ensuing year and three quarters, his equity stake at Regeneron — acquired solely for part time work, as a member of the board of directors at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, has ballooned to over $1 billion.

It is exceedingly rare for a retired chariman of a Fortune 100 public company to make a second billion, solely in board compensation, at any other company. But that is the hook in today’s Bloomberg story.

As the piece goes on to point out in great detail — he has certainly been worth the money, having increased all shareholders’ fortunes by 16,000 per cent during his tenure (assuming you bought when he entered, and held, constantly, without selling, ‘lo all these years). A bit then — and our best to a fine, fine man — and an astonishingly prescient scientist:

. . . .When he joined the Tarrytown, New York-based company in 1995, it sold him 600,000 shares at 50 cents a piece, an 86 percent discount to their price, and kicked off annual option grants that routinely placed him among the highest-paid directors in the U.S. Vagelos, 86, has since helped deliver a 16,000 percent surge in Regeneron’s value.

“Every once in a long while, you find a scientist who has deep understanding of the scientific basis of disease, but who also is a great manager — Vagelos is one of that rare breed,” said Mike Brown, a Nobel Prize recipient and Regeneron board member who recruited Vagelos as the company’s chairman. “He was probably the most successful pharmaceutical company leader of that era. . . .”

Indeed he is/was — and his Midas touch remains quite potent, apparently, even in his relaxing, retired years. We wish him nothing but the best. Onward — with a huge grin. . . .

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