Erlanger to grant $50,000 performance bonus to CEO

But trustees delay any decision on overall executive bonuses

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ Erlanger President and CEO William Jackson thanks the Board of Trustees for their confidence. The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority Board of Trustees finalized the contract of new CEO Dr. William Jackson at their meeting on September 26, 2019.

The head of Chattanooga's biggest hospital will get an extra $50,000 for meeting immediate, targeted goals set when he was hired as CEO a year ago, if hospital trustees approve the payment next week.

The management and board evaluation committee of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority on Tuesday voted to pay Erlanger CEO Will Jackson a $50,000 performance bonus for helping the hospital meet critical financial and management goals after he was named to succeed Kevin Spiegel last year.

The trustees on the management review panel put off any decision on any overall bonuses for Erlanger's top managers in achieving hospital goals for financial, personnel and safety performance during the past year, although they did set new performance goals for the current fiscal year.

The performance pay for Dr. Jackson and the management goals for 2021 must still be approved by the entire Erlanger board, which will meet on Dec. 17 to vote on the executive pay recommendations.

Jackson, who agreed to take a 15% pay cut to his original $650,000 base salary earlier this year under a new 2-year contract, will more than make up for that $25,000 salary cut with the $50,000 individual performance incentive. Trustees voted to pay Jackson for meeting goals to streamline Erlanger's management last year and to develop acceptable plans for physician relations and Erlanger governance during 2020.

John Germ, chairman of the board's management review panel, said Jackson met all three of the initial targets set when he was hired.

Although Erlanger revenues grew more than 60% in the past eight years, the hospital's operating income has not grown in recent years and Erlanger trustees have not paid executive bonuses at the hospital since 2016.

Erlanger Health System ended the fiscal year 2020 with a $30.2 million net income after losing $4.4 million in the previous fiscal year. The 2020 gains came due to an extra $55.9 million provided to Erlanger in one-time COVID-19 aid, according to hospital financial documents.

Former Erlanger CEO Kevin Spiegel, who left Chattanooga's hospital last year after six years, earned a $964,000 a year base salary. He also had an opportunity to earn up to 50% of his base salary in bonuses through a self-funded incentive plan that required the hospital meet certain financial, quality, safety and service goals.

Jackson's contract includes the same self-funded incentive plan as Spiegel's contract, although he has yet to receive such bonus payments.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340