David Wichmann, who stepped down from the UnitedHealth Group board of directors recently, earned $42.1 million in compensation during his final year as the CEO of UHG, one of America’s 10 largest publicly traded companies by revenue. His total earnings, however, was less than the previous year when he received $52.1 million.
- Huge stock options: Wichmann had accumulated a lot of stock options and restricted stock awards during his long stint at the company. In 2020, he saw $17.3 million from restricted stock that vested and exercised 76,024 stock options for a gain of $19.7 million.
- Long UHG association :Wichmann had been associated with UnitedHealth since 2004. He served as the company’s chief financial officer from 2011 to 2016, was named president of UnitedHealth in June 2016 and CEO in September 2017, succeeding longtime CEO Stephen Hemsley.
- The replacement :Wichmann was succeeded as CEO by Andrew Witty, the former CEO of pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, in the first week of February. Witty briefly served as a UnitedHealth board member in 2017 and 2018 before resigning to join executive management of UnitedHealth as CEO of its Optum business. When he left for the WHO in April 2020, he was both CEO of Optum and president of UnitedHealth Group.
- Witty’s WHO role :Witty realized $17.4 million in compensation during the year. He had taken an unpaid leave from April to November to help lead the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 vaccine development program.
- Performance bonus :Before Witty went on leave, he was awarded a $550,000 bonus from UnitedHealth for his performance to that point in the year leveraging the Optum business to help customers, communities, and employees with the COVID-19 crisis.