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Centene CEO earns $26 million as company beats financial targets

Centene CEO earns $26 million as company beats financial targets

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As Centene reported higher earnings and made a big acquisition, Chief Executive Michael Neidorff earned more than $26 million for the second straight year.

His compensation totaled $26.4 million in 2019, up from $26.1 million the year before, according to a proxy statement filed March 13. The numbers are likely to make Neidorff the highest-paid CEO in St. Louis for a sixth consecutive year.

Neidorff's salary was unchanged at $1.5 million, and he received two bonuses: $3.6 million based on 2019 performance and $3.5 million as a long-term incentive based on results from 2016 to 2018. The annual bonus was 160% of the target amount and the three-year bonus was 154% of target.

Neidorff also was credited with $17 million in stock and $380,360 worth of options. Sixty percent of the stock award is contingent on Centene's performance over a three-year period; a performance stock award from 2017 paid out at 158% of its target value.

Neidorff's compensation included $99,719 worth of personal flights on company planes and $146,500 of life insurance. His other perquisites, which weren't itemized, included security services, financial and tax planning and tickets to entertainment events.

Centene, a Clayton-based health care company, reported a 39% increase in earnings per share last year and its stock price rose 9%.

The company calculates that Neidorff earned 383 times as much as its median employee, who earned $68,897.

For 2018, the website 24/7 Wall Street ranked Neidorff among the 10 highest paid U.S. CEOs.

Here's what other St. Louis CEOs earned in 2018:

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