See how much Cerner CEO, others, earn

One top executive makes 1,951 times more than median pay at his company
By Bernie Monegain
08:12 AM
Money and stethoscope

Cerner CEO Neal Patterson earned $6,599,410, or 102 times the $65,000 median pay for employees at the Kansas City, Mo.-based health IT company.

This is according to economic research firm Glassdoor, which based its research on public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission as of Aug. 14, 2015. The companies reviewed are limited to publically held companies – the top 500 on the S&P list.

But Patterson, co-founder of Cerner as well as its CEO, is far from the one making the most money vis-à-vis the median pay of employees at his company.

The Glassdoor report showed that the average CEO earns 204 times the median worker salary at their organization.

The company with the highest ratio of CEO pay to median worker pay, according to the Glassdoor figures is Discovery Communications, whose CEO David M. Zaslav earned $156 million in 2014 while median worker pay, was $80,000. That tallies up to pay ratio of 1,951 times more pay for Zaslav compared with employees. Chipotle CEO Steve Ells earned $28.9 million in 2014, compared with median worker pay of $19,000, making his pay 1,522 times higher than the median pay for workers at the popular restaurant chain.

[Related: How does your EHR stack up? See our 2015 satisfaction survey results.]

Health IT giant Cerner has been in the news more than ever of late, what with landing one big contract after another for its healthcare technology. One notable one is a 10-year agreement with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, where a Cerner-Intermountain team is replacing Intermoutain's home-built system with a custom-built system across more than 20 hospitals and hundreds of clinics across a vast region.

More recently, Cerner – along with Leidos and Accenture – landed a $9 billion Department of Defense contract for what DoD officials called "an electronic health record off-the-shelf solution, integration activities and deployment across the Military Health System,"

Cerner rival Epic Systems, along with IBM as its partner, was in the running for the government contract as well.

As a privately-held company Epic is not included in the Glassdoor research, which looks solely at public companies. However, Epic CEO Judy Faulkner makes the Forbes billionaire list every year along with Patterson – Faulkner with a net worth of $2.8, compared with Patterson's net worth of $1.9 billion on the Forbes 2015 list of the richest people on the planet.

Also, recently Faulkner took "the pledge."

[See also: Epic CEO to donate 99 percent of fortune.]

The Giving Pledge was initiated by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to encourage some the world's richest people to donate more than half of their wealth to charity as the three of them have pledged to do.

Last May Faulkner pledged to give 99 percent of her money derived from Epic shares to a foundation that would "give money to healthcare and do other things as well – reduce the disparity of care, improve education especially for those who don't have equal opportunities, and if possible, help create a more peaceful world."

CEOs from Accenture, which teamed up with Cerner on the DoD contract and from IBM, which teamed up with Epic on the DoD bid are also on the Glassdoor list. Neither company is solely healthcare focused.

Accenture CEO Pierre Namteme listed earnings of $15,925,463, or 177 times more than employee median income. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty showed earnings of $19,356,125, or 182 times more than the employee median income.

Some of the other healthcare companies on the Glassdoor list and their ratings on next page: