WellPoint CEO lands nearly $17M in first year

April 2, 2014
Swedish, who became Anthem's CEO in 2013, tried to buy rival Cigna Corp. for $48 billion, but a judge in February blocked the deal on antitrust grounds.

WellPoint Inc. CEO Joe Swedish enjoyed nearly $17 million in cash, stock and perks in his first year leading the Indianapolis-based health insurance giant, according to a securities filing the company made Tuesday afternoon.

Swedish received salary last year of $913,461, a grant of company stock valued at $7.9 million, stock options valued at $1.6 million, a performance-based cash bonus of $2.51 million, and various perks valued at nearly $4.1 million.

The perks included nearly $3.8 million for compensation Swedish would have received in his previous job, as CEO of Michigan-based hospital system Trinity Health, and nearly $79,000 in relocation expenses.

WellPoint even paid Swedish nearly $82,000 to reimburse the legal fees he incurred when negotiating his employment contract with WellPoint.

Swedish, 62, took the helm of WellPoint on March 25, 2013, and oversaw a big run-up in the company’s stock price. WellPoint shares gained more than 44 percent from the day before Swedish arrived to the end of 2013, closing the year at $92.03 apiece. They since have risen to about $98 per share.

That stock performance contributed to a decision by WellPoint’s board of directors to give its executives stock grants valued 30 percent higher than the performance-based targets set at the beginning of the year. And Swedish received a performance-based cash bonus valued more than 72 percent higher than the target the board established for him.

"More than 80 percent of the overall compensation for executive officers is impacted by company performance, including performance relative to company goals and financial metrics, and changes in the company’s stock price," WellPoint spokeswoman Kirstin Binns wrote in an email. "2013 was a strong year for the company, with increases in net income, adjusted net income per share and total operating revenue."

Binns noted that WellPoint's operating revenue rose 16 percent to $70.2 billion from $60.5 billion in 2012, mainly due to the company's 2012 acquisition of Virginia-based Amerigroup Corp. WellPoint's profit, excluding extraordinary items, rose 5 percent last year to $2.59 billion.

Wayne DeVeydt, WellPoint’s chief financial officer, received total 2013 compensation of more than $7.9 million, an 80-percent increase over his compensation in 2012. WellPoint gave DeVeydt an extra $3 million in company stock, compared with the previous year, and nearly doubled his performance-based cash bonus to $1.1 million.

Ken Goulet, executive vice president overseeing WellPoint’s commercial and specialty businesses, saw his total compensation rise 8 percent to nearly $4.8 million.


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