Joe Kiani founded and built his company on sales of pulse oximetry equipment. He's a philanthropist who launched the Patient Safety Movement Foundation and a campaign contributor who hobnobs with Democratic and Republican party elites.
And last year he vaulted to the top of the list of healthcare's highest paid executives through an unusual golden parachute built into his stock option plan. Fully $111.9 million of his whopping $119.2 million compensation package in 2015 came in the form of 2.7 million shares of restricted Masimo Corp. stock that Kiani will receive if he is fired, if control of the company changes or he's asked to relocate from Southern California to stay with the company.
The year before, Masimo paid Kiani just $4.5 million, according to a Modern Healthcare analysis of executive compensation at investor-owned healthcare companies.
Special deals and special circumstances dominated this year's list of top-paid CEOs in Modern Healthcare's analysis. Kiani, 51, was followed by Horizon Pharma CEO Timothy Walbert, who pulled in a hefty $93.4 million in pay in 2015. His reward was for executing a series of mergers with companies selling high-priced drugs for rare diseases.