Despite Scandal, Former UnitedHealth CEO Was Ninth Best Paid CEO Of The Decade

Roy M. Poses | Health Care Renewal | August 6, 2013

A little while ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on the highest paid US corporate CEOs of the past decade.  One name stood out for those interested in  health care: Dr William W McGuire, the former CEO of giant health care insurance company/ managed care organization UnitedHealth Group.  Dr McGuire was number 9 on the list, with a total realized compensation of $469,300,000. 

We started discussing the disconnect between Dr McGuire's corpulent pay and his company's failure to uphold its stated ideals back in 2005, when he was reported to have received more than $124 million to lead a company which championed "affordable" health care.  Later, it turned out that much of Dr McGuire's compensation came in the form of back-dated stock-options, and the resulting scandal was followed by his resignation.  Later, Dr McGuire was forced to give back some the options.  The final settlement of the fiasco cost UnitedHealth $895 million, and Dr McGuire $30 million and the cancellation of 3.6 million stock options.

Meanwhile, UnitedHealth was compiling an unenviable record of ethical lapses...