Former Sanford CEO paid more than $49 million last year

November 16, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Internal Revenue Service filings show former Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft was paid more than $49 million in salary, severance and other payouts last year.

Krabbenhoft left Sanford last year after nearly a quarter century, receiving a combination of salary, incentive-based pay, severance and two lump sum payouts from supplemental executive retirement plans.

About $15 million was paid as severance and another $29 million was given through the retirement plan, which was started in 1983 specifically for Sanford’s executives. The Sanford Health Board of Trustees ended the executive plan in November 2020, according to the 990 form.

High profile resignations in 2021 included Executive Vice President Micah Aberson, Chief Marketing Officer Kimber Severson and Chief Philanthropy Officer Bobbie Tibbetts.


The amount paid to Krabbenhoft upon his departure is shown on the regional health system’s IRS form 990, which is filed annually.

In an email to Sanford employees sent Monday and obtained by the Argus Leader, CEO and President Bill Gassen said that the information released in the 990 confirms his plan to run a smaller executive team and reduce administrative overhead.

Gassen was paid more than $1.6 million in compensation, according to the 2020 filing, after taking the helm for part of the year.

“We are making meaningful changes to improve transparency, strengthen culture and better support every member of the Sanford Family,” Gassen said in the email.

Sanford is based in Sioux Falls and has major medical centers in Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota, and Bemidji, Minnesota.