Fired Blues CEO gets $2.2 million severanceBISMARCK (AP) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota says it will make a $2.2 million lump-sum severance payment to its fired president and chief executive officer.
BISMARCK (AP) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota says it will make a $2.2 million lump-sum severance payment to its fired president and chief executive officer.
Mike Unhjem had been the Blues’ top executive since 1991. He was fired Monday after the insurer came under heavy criticism for a Caribbean retreat attended by more than 30 sales employees and guests.
Blue Cross Blue Shield said in a statement Thursday that Unhjem’s severance was based on two years of salary and other benefits, including medical. In 2008, Unhjem was paid $1,078,559, which included his Blues compensation of $706,344 and $372,215 “because of his responsibilities to the other lines of business,” the insurer said.
Blue Cross Blue Shield said the severance was part of an employment agreement reached in 2007, a year after Unhjem was arrested for drunken driving.
The Blues said Unhjem was fired by the 13-member board this week for violating the terms of the employment agreement.
“Unhjem displayed errors in judgment over the past couple of years that damaged the image” of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the insurer’s statement said.
The statement also said Unhjem “met and exceeded company operational goals as related to customer satisfaction, administrative efficiencies and contract gains during his 18 years as president and CEO.”