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Keith Berg, Published September 19 2009

Doubt von Ebers will get job done

Why are we concerned about executive pay at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota? New CEO Paul von Ebers is quoted in the Aug. 17 New York Times: “If we wiped out the top 10 salaries in the company, it would make almost no impact on health insurance premiums.” Maybe we need to wipe out the top 20!

In 2008, von Ebers earned $981,000 as a vice president. His New York employer had 62 employees who earned more than $200,000 per year. As president/CEO, his base pay will be $500,000, and his bonus will be $250,000 unless the wimpy Blue Cross board decides to review his bonus plan.

This organization needs more new blood and it needs it soon. I doubt that von Ebers is the answer. The entire board of 13 should resign at the December annual meeting and be replaced by a five-member board.

I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of Sanford Health Insurance to Fargo.