Shifting List of Top-Paid Skilled Nursing CEOs Shows Industry Volatility

What a difference a year makes.

In 2017, Skilled Nursing News profiled the salaries of the seven highest-paid CEOs at the biggest skilled nursing companies for the previous year.

Of those executives, three didn’t make it to the 2018 roundup of the highest-paid CEOs — but that’s mainly a function of the upheaval that’s shaken the skilled nursing industry since last summer.


Benjamin Breier, the president and CEO of Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND), was included last year because of the company’s significant skilled nursing assets at the time. But the company struck a deal to sell its skilled nursing assets in 2017, and in December announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by TPG Capital; Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS); and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) for about $4.1 billion in cash.

As a result, Breier — who took home the highest baseline salary of $1,045,098 in 2016 — isn’t on the list this time around.

Quality Care Properties (NYSE: QCP), whose then-CEO Mark Ordan had the highest overall compensation package in 2016, also didn’t make the list this year. His company was acquired in April by a joint venture between Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) and non-profit health system ProMedica in a $1.95 billion all-cash deal.


Care Capital Properties CEO Raymond Lewis is also gone from this year’s roster, after the company merged with Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBRA) last year. Lewis made $5,482,225 in total compensation in 2016, No. 4 on the list overall.

Finally, SNN left Paul Ormond, the former CEO of HCR ManorCare, off the list, despite his being set to receive a settlement of more than $100 million related to deferred pension obligations — but not his ongoing employment. He exited the company in September, before the struggling provider filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; ProMedica now owns ManorCare as part of the Welltower-QCP deal.

Numbers game

This year, SNN focused on companies that are either skilled nursing operators or real estate investment trusts (REITs) that are focused on health care with skilled nursing as a core investment. As a result, the list excludes companies that have significant assets across a wide range of industries.

Both lists draw from the most recent annual proxy statements filed by public senior living companies and investors with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Here’s a complete breakdown of the top earners:

Top Paid Skilled Nursing Execs

C. Taylor Pickett, the CEO of REIT Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI), made the most overall in 2017 at approximately $5.98 million.

In terms of 2017 base salary, George Hager Jr., the CEO of Genesis Healthcare (NYSE: GEN) carried the day with $888,908 — the highest of any of the eight executives listed.

It’s important to note that tracking executive pay isn’t an exact science, with some room for variation: For instance, the valuation for stock awards and options is determined on the day they’re awarded, rather than cashed out, The Wall Street Journal has noted.

Written by Maggie Flynn

Companies featured in this article: