HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen sees nearly $10M dip in compensation in 2021

After pulling in over $30 million in total compensation during 2020, HCA Healthcare CEO Samuel N. Hazen saw his payout dip to just over $20.6 million in 2021, according to a regulatory filing.

The $10 million dip keeps Hazen in the running to again become the highest paid CEO of a publicly traded health system this year, as last year's second-place CEO, Tenet Healthcare's Ron Rittenmeyer, had received just $16.7 million in total compensation during 2020.

Although HCA’s contemporaries—Tenet Healthcare, Universal Health Services (UHS) and Community Health Systems (CHS)—have yet to release annual proxy reports detailing executive compensation, both Tenet and UHS had compensated their top executives well over $20 million prior to the pandemic.

Hazen, 61, is relatively new to the role, having been named to the CEO position in 2019 after serving as president and chief operating officer since late 2016.

His compensation for the year was made up of a base salary of $1.5 million, stock awards of $6.8 million, stock appreciation rights of $7.1 million and nonequity incentive plan compensation of $4.5 million.

Additionally, Hazen saw a change in pension value and non-qualified deferred compensation earnings of $450,000—substantially down from the nearly $12.3 million that bolstered his total compensation in 2020—and over $355,000 in other compensation.

Hazen’s total compensation represents a 368:1 ratio to that of the median pay of an HCA employee ($57,044). He did not receive a bonus in 2021.

Other executive total compensation disclosures listed in HCA’s annual proxy report included Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William B. Rutherford’s nearly $7.2 million (up from over $6.1 million in 2020), American Group President Jon M. Foster’s more than $6 million (down from nearly $8.6 million), National Group President Charles J. Hall’s more than $5.6 million (down from nearly $7 billion) and Physician Services Group President Michael S. Cuffe’s, M.D., more than $5.6 million.