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CEO of UnitedHealth Earned $457,000 Per Day

Posted By Jim On 10/24/2006 @ 5:20 pm In Health Care | 4 Comments

If you’re a fan of the National Football League, you’ll recognize my next reference and the source of an astounding statistic. Former CEO of UnitedHealth, William McGuire, earned about $1.6 billion over 14 years. That’s an hourly rate of $57,000 for someone at the center of the backdating stock options scandal.

New Record for CEO Gluttony: Last week William McGuire, CEO of insurer UnitedHealth and a centerpiece of the latest corporate-boardroom scandal (backdated stock options) agreed to leave the company. The Wall Street Journal estimated that for his 14 years running UnitedHealth, McGuire pocketed a total of about $1.6 billion. That’s $457,000 per day, or $57,000 per working hour. So McGuire paid himself more per hour than the median American annual household income. And this was during a period when UnitedHealth was cutting benefits to those it insures, cutting benefits received by its own workers, and cutting payments to physicians and hospitals for health care. Obviously this greedy little man is beyond disgrace: To experience disgrace, one must have a conscience. But why isn’t McGuire’s $1.6 billion simply considered theft from shareholders? UnitedHealth is a public company, and there is no possibility the fantastic amount was justified by market forces — that is, that the UnitedHealth board could not have found a similarly qualified CEO for less than $1.6 billion.

via Tuesday Morning Quarterback on ESPN.


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