Stephen J. Hemsley

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Stephen J. Hemsley (born 1952) is the Chief Executive Officer of UnitedHealth Group Inc.

In August 2017, UnitedHealth announced that Hemsley would be stepping down after more than a decade as CEO and starting a newly created role of executive chairman of the board.[1]


Early life[edit]

Stephen J. Hemsley was born in 1952. He graduated from Fordham University in 1974.[2]


He was Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer at Arthur Andersen. In 1997, he joined the UnitedHealth Group. He has served as its Chief Executive Officer since 2006.

He was more involved in the handling of backdated stock options than previously revealed, according to documents filed in a 2008 shareholder lawsuit in a Minneapolis District Court.[3] The company's two investigations largely exonerated him from the backdating scandal. However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) continued its investigations even after it in 2008 settled legal actions against both United Health Care itself and its former general counsel.[4]


Business Week reports his annual salary as $14,518,164.[5] For 2016, his compensation was estimated at $31.3 million, representing a 55.8 percent increase compared to 2015,[6] which was estimated at $14,500,000 by FierceHealthcare.[7]

Forbes magazine ranked him at 269th in its 2009 Special Report on CEO Compensation.[8] According to the country's highest-paid CEO, Stephen Hemsley, made $101.96 million in 2010.[9] In 2011 he was named the highest paid CEO by Forbes following a large gain in the value of his stock ownership.[10] In late 2011, Hemsley's most recent annual compensation was estimated by Forbes at $48.8 million.

Other positions[edit]

He serves as a trustee of the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and as a trustee of Minnesota Public Radio. Additionally, he is a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, the organization's governing body.[11]


  1. ^ Murphy, Tom (2017-08-16). "UnitedHealth CEO to step down after more than decade". Associated Press. MSN.
  2. ^ "Stephen J. Hemsley". NNDB.
  3. ^ Suit: Hemsley had bigger role in UNH backdating David Phelps, Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 22, 2008
  4. ^ "Press Release: SEC Files Settled Enforcement Actions Against UnitedHealth Group and Former General Counsel in Stock Options Backdating Case". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. December 22, 2008.
  5. ^ Stephen Hemsley: Executive Profile & BiographyBusiness Week
  6. ^ "CEO Pay Watch: UnitedHealth's Stephen Hemsley made $31.3 million last year". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  7. ^ [1] by Leslie Small, in FierceHealthcare April 24, 2016]
  8. ^ Special Report on CEO CompensationForbes
  9. ^ "Unitedhealthcare's unspoken lobbying". 3 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  10. ^ "#1 Stephen J Hemsley". Forbes. 13 April 2011.
  11. ^ Boy Scouts of America Annual Report 2011 Archived 2012-11-14 at the Wayback Machine