Highmark CEO took home more than $4M in ’13

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Highmark CEO William Winkenwerder Jr. collected $1.2 million in salary and more than $3 million in bonuses and benefits in his first full year on the job, according to documents filed with the state Department of Insurance.

Dr. Winkenwerder came to the Pittsburgh insurer in July 2012, following the ouster of his predecessor, former CEO Ken Melani. In 2012, according to Highmark's record-keeping, Dr. Winkenwerder took home $1.87 million in total compensation — $562,712 for his half-year of salary, plus a $1.18 million bonus and $131,000 in "other" compensation.

In 2013, he was the highest-paid employee at the state's largest nonprofit health insurer. At least nine other Highmark employees earned more than a million dollars last year in total compensation.

The compensation documents were filed with the state March 3 and provided at media request Friday. The statement also included compensation data for Highmark's corporate board of directors; 19 board members made $1.6 million collectively in 2013 for their service.

“The board of directors of Highmark believes the compensation levels of [Highmark's] executives reflect the company’s size and complexity,” said spokesman Aaron Billger. "As a company with $17 billion in revenue and 37,000 employees, our board works to ensure proper governance in reviewing all executive salaries and compensation.”

Highmark's top salaries must be requested from the state Insurance Department because, unlike other nonprofits, Highmark has not historically filed a 990 tax return containing that information. But because Highmark Inc. has, as of 2013, been reorganized as 501(c)3, it will have to file those returns, and that compensation information will be included in those documents, starting this year.

Bill Toland: btoland@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2625.

Bill Toland: btoland@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2625. First Published March 21, 2014 10:51 AM

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