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  • pleeseno pleeseno Nov 19, 2012 9:11 PM Flag

    Ron Williams - Please No!

    The Board can't be serious looking at bringing in this guy. If you want to sink this company for good bring in this guy. He is exactly what this company does not need now. He rules by fear. This was Braly's style and as a result no one could tell her the truth abhout how screwed up things were. The company badly needs a leader not a ruler. Gotta be worried about this since this WLP Board and Human Resources leadership track record on managing talent is woeful. The Amerigroup guy is the right choice not this guy Williams.

    Forbes - Oct 2010 Article:
    Over the last five years Williams has made $85 million. That puts him in the top 75 paid corporate executives in the country over that period. Over that same span the company’s stock has fallen by roughly a third, eliminating about $7 billion in market value. Aetna’s lagged the S&P 500. The major index has stayed flat, after falling and then recovering.

    On the other hand, stock price can be an unfair barometer of performance. If you look at profitability, the company went from earning $1.7 billion the year Williams took over, to $1.3 billion last year

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    • You - and me - are no doubt properly placed as commenters on an obscure message board. But here's my opinion anyway.

      I think you and Forbes both look at Williams' career selectively, and arrive at the same misleading conclusion. You quote Forbes

      "Forbes - Oct 2010 Article: Over the last five years . . . "

      Williams started with Aetna in 2001. What of his first 5 years? They were immensely successful and maybe saved the company. IMO, to ignore that success is to deliberately deceive yourself about his executive ability.

      If Aetna's board made a mistake, it was arguably to have kept Williams on for too long. Maybe replacing him after 5-6 years would have worked out better for Aetna - maybe not. Regardless, replacing Williams after 2006 or 2007 would have been quite difficult, considering the success he brought to Aetna in his first 5-6 years.

      And anyway, there is no denying Williams' - and Aetna's - significant success 2001 - 2007.

      (You may not be old enough to remember any of this history, but it's true. Or you may be old enough to remember Williams when he was at WLP before 2001 - and hold some kind of grudge based on that. I say "grudge" because your only objections seem to be that Williams is a demanding executive and made a lot of money. It's almost as though you hope WLP will bring on a CEO who will wag his tail constantly and work for almost nothing.)

      • 1 Reply to fembup
      • What a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Former Aetna CEO Ronald Williams Compensated $72 Million Last Year

        Matthew Sturdevant
        on April 11, 2011 11:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (39)

        Former Aetna CEO Ronald A. Williams was compensated $72 million in 2010, his last year on the job, including $14.3 million in stocks that vest later and depend on performance.

        The largest source of pay for Williams was $50.4 million in value realized through the exercise of options that were granted in 2001, and would have expired in early 2011. He also received $1.1 million in salary, $2.75 million in incentive pay, an additional $2.3 million in pension value and other compensation of $299,838.

        Williams, 61, stepped down as chief executive officer on Nov. 29, but remained chairman until his retirement on Friday.

        Williams' successor, Mark T. Bertolini, 54, was compensated $4.8 million in salary, incentive pay, change in pension value, stocks vested and other compensation. Additionally, he received $5.8 million in stock awards that vest later and depend on performance.

        Executive pay at the Hartford-based health insurer was included in papers filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

        Williams, formerly an executive with Wellpoint, became Aetna's No. 2 executive under former CEO Jack Rowe in March 2001. Williams, the lower-key personality of the two, was the main architect of Aetna's restructuring efforts, during which the company reduced unprofitable business and set the stage for growth.

        On the day Williams received the options that led to his $50.4 million payoff, Aetna shares closed at $9.35, adjusted for splits. When he stepped down as CEO on Nov. 29, 2010, the shares closed at $30.16

        But shares did not perform as well in the years when Williams was Aetna's chief executive. Aetna stock closed at $51.30 on the day Williams became CEO in February 2006. They fell sharply that year, later rose to a high of $59.76 in 2007 before falling sharply again along with the overall markets in the recession.

        From 2005 to 2009, even with the recession, revenues increased 54 percent to $34.7 billion. The number of people enrolled in Aetna health plans increased 28 percent during that same period to 18.9 million.

        The $72 million figure could reignite controversy over executive pay at health insurers at a time when the insurers are working to reduce health care costs.