Former WellPoint CEO quit last year, still earned $20.6 million

Former WellPoint Inc. Chief Executive Angela Braly quit in August amid pressure from major shareholders dissatisfied with the company's performance.
(Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press)

Angela Braly, the former chief executive of insurance giant WellPoint Inc., earned $20.6 million last year despite resigning under pressure in August.

Braly quit the Indianapolis company, which runs Blue Cross plans in California and 13 other states, after major shareholders expressed dissatisfaction with her leadership and the company’s performance.


Her total compensation for 2012 was $20.6 million, up from $13.3 million a year earlier, according to the company’s proxy filing. The bulk of her pay last year came from stock and option awards totaling $17.8 million.

The company said Braly’s total compensation last year was comparable to the previous year, excluding certain amounts received in connection with her departure.

“The board did agree to extend the period of time Ms. Braly could exercise her vested stock options through the original expiration of the grants, notwithstanding her separation from service,” a WellPoint spokeswoman said. “The incremental cost of this vested stock option extension was calculated at approximately $7.8 million.”

In February, WellPoint named Joseph Swedish, a longtime hospital executive, to be its next chief executive.


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The company said Swedish will receive a $1.25-million annual salary, stock grants worth as much as $8 million and a “make whole” payment of $3.6 million to compensate him for money he lost by leaving his former CEO job at Trinity Health Corp.


During her tenure, Braly had been dogged by criticism over WellPoint’s slumping stock, managerial blunders and disappointing earnings. In its proxy filing this week, the company noted “we did not meet our financial goals for the year.”

Braly had also caught the ire of consumers and even President Obama in 2010 for trying to raise rates by up to 39% in California. The national outrage that ensued helped Obama win approval for his healthcare overhaul in Congress.


John Cannon, who served as interim chief executive when Braly left, earned $6.5 million in total compensation last year, according to the company’s securities filing. He earned $2.7 million in 2011.



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