New Chimerix CEO gets pay bump and stock options

Chimerix’s new president and CEO will receive an annual salary of $440,000 and be granted an option to purchase 140,000 shares of stock, the Durham drug maker reported in a regulatory filing.

M. Michelle Berrey, who is also retaining her title as chief medical officer, received an annual raise of $76,000. She also received an increase in her performance-based bonus target percentage from 35 percent to 50 percent of her base salary.

Berrey replaced Kenneth Moch, who unexpectedly stepped down as president and CEO last week. Moch’s departure came about a month after Chimerix made national headlines for initially withholding an experimental drug from a critically ill child.

Moch arranged for the unapproved drug to be released to the sick boy after a public outcry. The company has not publicly explained whether the executive shakeup is connected to his handling of the ethics controversy.

Berrey is able to purchase her shares at a price of $21.92, the closing price on the date of the grant. Chimerix shares closed Monday at $19.31, down 54 cents. Berrey’s shares will vest in equal monthly installments over four years.

Berrey is entitled to 15 months of severance and accelerated vesting of her outstanding stock options if she’s let go. The severance terms are good for any termination that does not occur within 30 days prior to or 13 months after the sale of the company.