CEO pay fell slightly in 2020. See which healthcare CEOs are top earners

Healthcare CEOs saw their median pay dip slightly in 2020, but many healthcare top executives are among the highest earners, according to a new report from Equilar ranking the 100 highest paid CEOs last year. 

In healthcare, Centene CEO Michael F. Neidorff was the highest paid and the only healthcare CEO to crack the top 10 list, with total compensation just under $25 million, according to the ranking. While the figure seems staggering, it’s actually a -6% change in pay. Centene is a publicly traded managed care company based in St. Louis.


Here are the other highest paid healthcare CEOs, according to Equilar:

  • Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson ($23.14 million) 
  • Richard A. Gonzalez, AbbVie ($21.78 million)
  • David M. Cordani, Cigna ($19.74 million)
  • Albert Bourla, Pfizer ($19.67 million)
  • Giovanni Caforio, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($19.56 million)
  • Daniel O'Day, Gilead Sciences ($18.99 million)
  • Samuel Hazen, HCA Healthcare ($18.13 million) 
  • David Ricks, Eli Lilly ($17.82 million) 
  • Joseph Zubretsky, Molina Healthcare ($17.81 million) 
  • Stefano Penssina, Walgreens Boots Alliance ($17.48 million) 
  • Bruce Broussard, Humana ($16.49 million) 
  • Robert Ford, Abbott Laboratories ($16.3 million) 
  • Steven Collis, AmerisourceBergen ($14.3 million) 
  • Michael Kaufmann, Cardinal Health ($14.22 million) 
  • Michael Hsu, Kimberly-Clark ($13.47 million) 
  • Michael Roman, 3M ($12.99 million)
  • Rainer Blair, Danaher ($10.4 million )


CEO compensation fell to the median of $15.5 million in 2020, down 1.6% from $15.7 million in 2019. At the same time, median revenue at the largest 100 companies increased slightly, with median revenue resign to $37.4 billion in 2020 from $37.3 billion.

“The broad numbers show that leading U.S. companies collectively were resilient, but there was notable volatility at a company-by-company level, in harmony with the realities felt in the market,” said Dan Marcec, senior editor for Equilar and author of the report.


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