10 'overpaid' healthcare CEOs: Their paths to the top

Earlier this year, As You Sow issued its annual report on "overpaid" CEOs among the S&P 500. 

The nonprofit analyzes CEO pay compared to total shareholder return to calculate excess pay; ranks the percentage of shares that voted against the CEO pay package in the year prior to June 30, 2022; and identifies the ratio of CEO pay to that of the median employee. The latest report from As You Sow included 10 "overpaid" CEOs leading large companies that intersect with healthcare.

Becker's has charted their careers: from the early days of university, to the high-paying helms of companies. 

Rosalind Brewer (Walgreens Boots Alliance)
Pay: $28.33 million

  • Ms. Brewer joined Walgreens Boots Alliance as CEO in March 2021.
  • She previously served as COO and group president at Starbucks.
  • From February 2012 to February 2017, she served as president and CEO of Sam's Club.
  • Ms. Brewer is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta.

Ari Bousbib (IQVIA Holdings)
Pay: $28.61 million

  • Mr. Bousbib has held his current role since October 2016 following the merger of Quintiles and IMS Health.  
  • Before the merger, he helmed IMS Health. 
  • He previously held leadership jobs at United Technologies Corp., the parent company of Otis Elevator Co., Carrier Corp., UTC Power, UTC Fire & Security, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft and Hamilton Sundstrand.
  • Mr. Bousbib previously served as partner at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global management and technology consulting firm.

Michael Neidorff (Centene)
Pay: $20.63 million
*Mr. Neidorff announced plans to retire in 2022 and died in April 2022 at age 79. Sarah London was named CEO of Centene in March 2022. 

  • Mr. Neidorff joined Centene as CEO in 1996 and led the company for more than 25 years.
  • He previously served as director of international consumer products at Miles Laboratories. 
  • He also served as president and CEO of Physicians Health Plan of Greater St. Louis.
  • He graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio and St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa.

Alex Gorsky (Johnson & Johnson)
Pay: $26.74 million

  • In 2021, Mr. Gorsky retired from the chair and CEO roles at Johnson & Johnson. He served as executive chair during 2022.
  • He rejoined Johnson & Johnson in 2012 as CEO, having previously spent eight years in sales, marketing and eventually management positions with Janssen Pharmaceutica, a New Jersey N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson unit. 
  • In 2004, he was named chief operating officer and head of general medicines at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. He was promoted to CEO and North American head of pharma the following year. 
  • For eight years, he held He spent six years in the Army after graduating from the United States Military Academy. 
  • He received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. 

David Cordani (Cigna)
Pay: $19.87 million

  • Mr. Cordani was named chair and CEO of the Cigna Group in 2009. 
  • One year prior, he had been promoted to president and COO of the organization. 
  • Mr. Cordani first joined Cigna in 1991, holding various regional leadership positions including president of Cigna Healthcare and controller for Cigna Corp. 
  • He previously worked as a senior auditor for Coopers & Lybrand. 
  • He obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration from College Station-based Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Hartford (Conn.). 

Marc Miller (Universal Health Services)
Pay: $14.02 million

  • Mr. Miller was named CEO of the for-profit health system in 2021 after about 26 years within the enterprise. 
  • He began his career at UHS in 1995, holding various hospital leadership positions before ascending to corporate roles. Eventually, he became president of the health system's acute care division. 
  • He received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Vermont in Burlington, and later earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Robert Ford (Abbott Laboratories) 
Pay: $24.91 million 

  • Mr. Ford was named CEO of Abbott Laboratories in March 2020 and became chair of the board in December 2021.
  • He joined Abbott's diabetes care business after college, moving through the ranks to lead the companies' diabetes, cardiovascular and neuromodulation arms. In 2017, he headed Abbott's integration of St. Jude Medical — its largest acquisition at the time — setting him up for a 2018 promotion to COO. 
  • He has a bachelor's degree from Boston College and an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. 

Karen Lynch (CVS Health) 
Pay: $20.38 million

  • Ms. Lynch became president and CEO of CVS Health in 2021 after serving as its executive vice president and president of Aetna. 
  • Before joining CVS Health, she held executive roles at Cigna and Magellan Health. 
  • She began her career as a public accountant for Ernst & Young. 
  • Ms. Lynch has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Boston College and an MBA from Boston University Questrom School of Business. 

Richard Gonzalez (AbbVie) 
Pay: $23.91 million 

  • Mr. Gonzalez assumed the top role at Abbvie in 2013. 
  • He spent 30 years with Abbott Laboratories before the company separated from Abbvie the same year he was named CEO. During this period, he held multiple leadership roles with the company's medical products business. 
  • In 2007, he briefly resigned from his role as Abbott's COO after his credentials were misstated on the company's regulatory filings; Mr. Gonzalez is not known to hold a university degree. 
  • However, he attended the University of Houston from 1972 to 1973, and once served as a research biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine. 

Marc Casper (Thermo Fisher Scientific) 
Pay: $21.23 million

  • Mr. Casper was named CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2009. He was promoted after one year as the company's COO. 
  • He has served Thermo Fisher Scientific since it was formed through the merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific in 2006. He was a senior vice president of Thermo Electron at the time, and became president of the newly formed company's analytical technologies business. 
  • Mr. Casper previously held roles with Bain & Co., Bain Capital, Dade Behring and Kendro Laboratory Products, where he was director and CEO. 
  • He holds a bachelor's in economics from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston.

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