UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Stephen Hemsley, president, CEO


Total compensation: $34,721,122 for the year ended Dec. 31

Salary: $1,300,000

Non-equity incentive pay: $5,300,000

Other compensation: $287,443

Exercised stock options: $12,488,010

Value realized on vesting shares: $15,345,669

New stock options: 0

Total 2012 return to shareholders: 8.5 percent

Note: Hemsley took home 27 percent less than he did in 2011, mainly because of a smaller gain from stock options he exercised last year than he did the previous year.

Other than the value of long-term equity awards that were realized, Hemsley’s 2012 compensation was fairly consistent with totals from 2011. His base salary remained the same (and has been unchanged since 2006), and the value of stock awards granted in 2012 was also the same as last year — $7 million.

Hemsley’s non-equity incentive pay, or bonus, increased 7.3 percent to $5.3 million as the health care company reported annual revenue of $110.6 billion and earnings per share of $5.28, increases of 8.6 percent and 11.6 percent.

The biggest change in Hemsley’s compensation totals was in the value of long-held stock options near their expiration dates that he exercised, $12.5 million in 2012, compared with $28.8 million in 2011.

According to UnitedHealth’s proxy, Hemsley’s compensation for 2012 was below the median for the company’s peer group. “The Compensation Committee and Mr. Hemsley agree that the total compensation awarded is sufficient to retain and motivate him,” according to the proxy.

Patrick Kennedy