Aetna Executive Takes Pay Cut


Even Aetna's top executive is feeling the pain of this struggling economy. 

The Hartford-based insurance company announced Tuesday that its Chairman and CEO, Ronald A. Williams, took a 6% pay cut in compensation last year and his total package could take another hit if the health insurer misses its earnings goal, according to the Associated Press.

Williams, 60, took home $16.4 million from Aetna in 2009 -- that included a salary of $1.1 million that rose less than 1% from 2008, according to an Associated Press analysis of a proxy statement filed Monday.

Williams received a cash bonus of $900,000 which was down 54% from the year before. He also received over $200,000 in other compensation -- the majority of that going to pay for use of the company aircraft.

Aetna also gave Williams stock and options valued at $14.2 million but he will only receive $4.3 of that total if the company meets its earnings mark.   The insurer said in a statement that was unlikely.

A similar payment was cancelled in 2008 when Aetna missed an earnings goal, the AP reports.

Williams has served as Chairman and CEO since 2006.  It has been a rocky few years for the insurance giant.  Aetna has struggled with medical costs that have risen faster than its pricing.  The company also cut 1,200 jobs in recent layoffs.  Aetna cited the economy and health care reform as reasons for the job cuts.

Aetna provides health, dental, group life and disability coverage and is the third largest publicly traded health insurer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us