Top HCA executives get pay bump; CEO made $26.8M in first year at helm

Several top executives at Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare received raises in their base salary in 2019, and Sam Hazen made $26.8 million during his first year as CEO, according to HCA's shareholder proxy statement.

Mr. Hazen, who took over as CEO in January 2019, received a base salary of $1.4 million last year. That's up 27 percent from 2018, when Mr. Hazen served as HCA's president and COO. After factoring in incentive compensation, stock awards and pension benefits, Mr. Hazen's compensation totaled $26.8 million last year.

Mr. Hazen has held several executive leadership roles at HCA during his nearly 40 years with the company. He served as president and COO from 2016 until he was named CEO last year.

HCA's former Chairman and CEO R. Milton Johnson made $21.4 million in 2018. Though his base salary was higher than Mr. Hazen's, changes in pension value pushed Mr. Hazen's total compensation higher than his predecessor's. 

HCA Executive Vice President and CFO William Rutherford's base salary increased to $879,757 in 2019, up from $845,920 in 2018. Adding in higher incentive compensation and lower stock awards, Mr. Rutherford's total compensation dipped to $6.3 million in 2019 from $6.8 million a year earlier.

HCA American Group President Jon Foster and National Group President Charles Hall both received raises in their base salaries last year and received total compensation of $7.8 million and $6.5 million, respectively. 

HCA's compensation committee reviews and approves executive compensation. In 2019, the committee retained the services of independent outside consultants to assist with the assessment of executive compensation, according to the proxy statement.


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