Aetna CEO Ron Williams earned $18 million in 2009, six percent less than previous year

Despite a 6 percent pay cut, Aetna CEO Ron Williams' compensation in 2009 was valued at more than $18 million, making his pay package $5 million higher than WellPoint's Angela Braly. Braly, you may recall, was highly criticized for receiving a 51 percent compensation increase from 2008 to 2009 on the heels of controversial rate increases for individual policy holders. 

Although Williams' base salary rose less than 1 percent, his bonus non-equity incentive plan compensation dropped to $900,000 in 2009, down from $1.95 million in 2008, according Aetna's latest SEC filings. Still, Williams was given roughly $209,000 for use of a corporate care and plane-- more than twice the amount he received for such amenities in 2008. 

Williams is the fourth CEO from the "Big Five" health insurers--Aetna, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint--to have his 2009 compensation revealed. Trailing far behind him are Humana's President and CEO Michael B. McCallister, whose compensation totaled $6.5 million, and Cigna's David Cordani, whose total compensation in 2009 was $6.6 million. 

For more information:
- check out Aetna's SEC proxy statement (page 55)
- read this article in the Wall Street Journal