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February 8, 2019


Executive Salaries at St. Jude’s (2017)

by Anne Paddock

When some people think of St. Jude’s, they associate the organization with the children’s research hospital but St Jude’s is actually two organizations:  the children’s hospital (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital) which provides research and medical care, and the fundraising organization (ALSAC which stands for American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities). Although most non-profits do not separate fundraising from services, St. Jude’s does so both organizations need to be analyzed when looking at “St. Jude’s.


ALSAC raised $1.5 billion (for the year ending June 30, 2017), most of which came from contributions ($1.3 billion) and investment income/gain on the sale of assets, gaming activities and fundraising events ($200 million or $0.2 billion).

Total expenses for ALSAC were $1.076 billion, of which $664 million (44% or $44 out of every $100 in revenue) was given to the hospital (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital) for operational and capital budget needs. ALSAC retained $428 million (29% or $29 out one every $100 in revenue) and spent $412 million (27% or $27 out of every $100) on functional expenses related to fundraising (the mission of ALSAC).

So, the bottom line is: If you donated $100, $44 was given to the hospital, $29 was spent on organizational expenses at ALSAC and $27 was put into savings (which had more than $4 billion at year-end).

Functional expenses include compensation for the 1,639 employees of ALSAC whose purpose is to raise funds for the hospital. The 1,639 employees were compensated $137 million which equates to an average compensation of $84,000 each. However, 255 employees of ALSAC received more than $100,000 in compensation. The nine (9) most highly compensated individuals were reported to be:

  • $1,087,044:  James Downing, Ex-Officio Director (compensation from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)
  • $  868,643:  Richard C Shadyac, Jr.:  CEO and Ex-Officio Director
  • $  542,741:  Emily S Greer, Chief Administrative Officer
  • $  517,293:  Jeffrey T Pearson, Chief Financial Officer
  • $  514,395:  Emily Callahan, Chief Marketing Officer
  • $  497,124:  Robert Machen, Chief Information Officer
  • $  471,938:  Anurag Pandit, Chief Investment Officer
  • $  454,251:  Sara Hall, Chief Legal Officer
  • $  447,309:  George Shadroui, Chief Strategy Officer

As illustrated above, 9 employees received total compensation of $5.5 million. Of the 9 most highly compensated employees, 6 (67%) are male, while 3 (33%) are female.

The 990 also reports ALSAC paid for companion travel and health or social club dues or initiation fees (See Schedule J, Part III for more information).

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St Jude Children’s Research Hospital reported total revenue of $901 million (for the year ending June 30, 2017) which came from four (4) sources:  ALSAC provided $664 million, patient care (primarily insurance companies) provided $124 million, $79 million came from government grants, and $34 million came from royalties, the cafeteria, a bond gain, and other sources.

Total expenses for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital were $857 million, of which includes $462 million paid in compensation to the 4,929 employees, which equates to an average compensation of $94,000. However, 766 employees received more than $100,000 in total compensation. The 15 most highly compensated employees were reported to be:

  • $1,249,628:  Thomas E Merchant, Chair
  • $1,087,044:  James Downing, President and CEO, Ex-Officio Director
  • $1,002,230:  Ching-Hon Pui, Chair
  • $  938,849:  David Ellison, Chair
  • $  926,684:  Leslie L Robison, Chair
  • $  894,215:  Charles M Roberts, EVP/Director Cancer Center
  • $  868,643:  Richard Shadyac, Ex-Officio Director (who received compensation from ALSAC)
  • $  794,456:  Elaine I Tuomanen, Chair
  • $  793,407:  Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, EVP/Chair
  • $  736,869:  Mary Anna Quinn, EVP/Chief Admin Officer
  • $  716,462:  William E Evans, Faculty and Former Press and CEO
  • $  643,897:  James I Morgan, EVP/Scientific Director
  • $  629,068:  Pat Keel, SVP/CFO
  • $  563,371:  Larry Kun, Former EVP, Clinical Director
  • $  483,563:  Michael C Canarios, Former SVP/CFO

As illustrated above, the 15 most highly compensated employees received $12.3 million.  Of the 15 most highly compensated employees, 12 (80%) are male while 3 (20%) are female.

The 990 also reports:

The organization paid for companion travel and tax indemnification and gross up payments (for more detail see Schedule J, Part III of the 990.  In addition:

$344,860 was offered to the former CFO under a separation agreement whose terms are confidential.

Payments were made to five employees under the non-qualified deferred compensation plan during the year:

  • Michael C Canarios:  $23,877
  • Ching-Hon Pui:  $289,585
  • Mary Anna Quinn:  $275,360
  • Leslie L Robison:  $286,030
  • Elaine I Tuomanen:  $265,433

Business transactions with interested persons include:

  • Mary Rellings (compensation of $508,689) is related by family to William E Evans (compensation of $716,462).
  • Susanna Downing (compensation of $63,360) is related by family to James R Downing (compensation of $1,087,044).
  • Diane Roberts (compensation of $200,935) is related by family to Charles M Roberts (compensation of $894,215).

To read the ALSAC IRS Form 990 (2016) for the year ending June 30, 2017, click here.

To read the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital IRS Form 990 (2016) for the year ending June 30, 2017, click here.

To read about updated (2018) executive compensation (Executive Compensation at St Jude’s (2018), click here.

To read about financial trends (Top Ten Financial Tips to Know About St. Jude’s) of St. Jude’s and ALSAC, click here.

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Veronica Preuss
    Feb 20 2019

    I am astounded to see the compensation paid to your listed employees. I have been a donor for a long time but with this information my donation is unnecessary and won’t be happening again. I just retired , worked as an ER nurse for 30 years and left recently at 80 years of age . My yearly salary, working 12 hour shifts did not approximate $ 70,000but I always donated to ST jUDE THINKING I WAS HELPING pediatriac cancer patients . Now I see I contributed to a very expensive life style for your upper management employees. Also , there is nepotism.

  2. Kara La'shway
    Apr 23 2019

    I have to ask, how much does Marlo Thomas make per yr for her part in St. Jude’s Hospital Charity?

  3. Apr 23 2019

    The 990 does not report this information.

  4. Ken Hart
    May 13 2019

    We have given faithfully to St Jude for many years now, and I have often shared with others that I feel St Jude is one of the best things we could support. After reviewing the executive and more significant salaries , I must let you know how very disappointed I am with this salary structure. It is very apparent to me that St Jude certainly does not need my support if they can in good conscious pay out these ridiculous salaries . I might also add that I was not able to find Marlo’s salary anywhere. With a posted net worth of 35 million , why would a salary even be considered? My heart goes out to each of the sick children that enter St Jude, but regretfully I cannot find it in my heart to support St Jude from this point on. What an eye opener .

  5. Bill
    Jun 28 2019

    Looks like a nonprofit organization to me……..right!!!

    Jun 30 2019


  7. Jun 30 2019

    Many people don’t know about ALSAC, the fundraising arm of St. Jude’s. Most non-profits have three functions: raise money, fund their mission, and manage the mission (which are often referred to as fundraising, program services, and management and general expenses) – all of which are typically done collectively in a non-profit. St. Jude’s separated out the fundraising portion (ALSAC), which is why it is so important to look at the 990’s of both ALSAC and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

  8. JL
    Jul 7 2019

    I, like so many who have voiced disappointment, have always contributed to St. Jude’s. I thought of the children and thought I was helping them. I even sent donations when I was raising 7 children on my husband’s laborer salary. Now I am a recent widow and my income is even less. I cannot express the sadness I feel at learning of the extravagance of the salaries of the upper administrative personnel. I will no longer be donating.

  9. David rogers
    Jul 22 2019

    Guess I’ll stop donations . I need the money more than they do
    They are shameful

  10. Lafawn Lasiter
    Aug 6 2019

    Why is Marlo’s yearly salary not shown? I’m stunned and very angry that salaries, private jets, club membership and other extravagant “things” are paid for by our donations! I gave to this organization for years and it’s nothing more than a scam to get money for their extravagant lifestyle.

  11. Aug 6 2019

    Only the most highly compensated employees are listed.

  12. Andy
    Aug 19 2019

    It’s pretty sad that charities have to pay their execs so much. However, it’s only 0.6% of total contributions. I can live with that if it means kids’ lives are saved. The retained income can be considered an investment in St. Jude’s future; it paid out $157+ million in one year! As far as St. Jude’s salaries go – we can assume the best and brightest medical staff aren’t the cheapest employees.

  13. Aug 19 2019

    1. Using executive compensation as a % of total contributions is not a very telling tool to understand executive compensation because the ratio will typically be very small and not meaningful. When analyzing specific expenses – especially executive compensation – the detail is important. If two executives were paid $1 million and $2 million and yet the organization raised $600 million a year, a viewer would know that the compensation of those two employees as a percentage of contributions is 0.5%. That ratio makes it look like their salaries are small and insignificant when in fact, they are very significant at a non-profit. When people see a million dollar(s) salary, they ask why (when they see a ratio, they don’t which may be why people like yourself and many non-profits like that ratio). Remember, the public has a right to know this information because the public is supporting these organizations.

    2. The retained income could be considered an investment in St. Jude’s future as a certain amount of the funds will be used for capital expansion. However, the retained income could also be considered a detriment to the many sick children who are not being helped. If an organization has $5 billion (which is more than it takes to run the hospital for years if contributions were zero), is it more important to expand services and help 250 sick children and their families or put another $250 million in savings? Again, you have to understand that historically ALSAC has only given St. Jude’s about $50 out of every $100 in revenues annually, spent $29 out of every $100 in revenue annually to raise revenue, and saved about $20 out of every $100 in revenue annually. This has resulted in huge increases in the net fund balance or what some people refer to as the endowment (the net fund balance was $2.4 billion 6 years ago and is now $5.3 billion). The question to ask is: When will more revenue be given to the hospital to expand services (and less revenue – hundreds of millions annually – to the endowment) to help more sick kids and their families?

    3. The best and the brightest are never the cheapest employees but we’re not just talking about doctors. We are addressing the executives and fundraisers in the organizations who are very well compensated (It is important to remember that ALSAC is the fundraising organization; not the medical provider or researcher). And, we are addressing contributions to retirement plans: hundreds of thousands of dollars paid annually to many highly compensated employees, along with paid companion travel and health and social club dues (as if these individuals cannot afford to pay their own health and social club dues which leads me to ask: is revenue better spent paying social or health club dues or helping a sick child?).

    4. You state “it” (who is it?) paid out $157 million from retained earnings? Where did you get that figure from? The topic of this post is executive compensation as reported on the Form 990 (2016) for the year ending June 30, 2017.

    Instead of accepting the status quo, how about raising your standards and expectations? They do good things but could do so much better. Raise the bar guy….it’s for the kids.

  14. Duane Huddleston
    Aug 30 2019

    I recently came into a nice chunk of money. I “was” going to donate….but not now. Ya’ll are some dirty dogs. Sorry kids.

  15. Kenneth E Hart
    Aug 30 2019

    Re: May 2019 original post : I have not contributed since this posting date , and have asked St Jude twice about Marlo Thomas’s salary , if applicable. To date I have never got an answer, just a phone number to call. My hope would be that she does not draw a salary, if she does, this would add to the frustration that myself and so many people are experiencing , with regard to salaries paid and the fact that Marlo’s estimated worth is 35 million .

  16. Randy Johnson
    Sep 8 2019

    It is totally outlandish how much these executives are making! Have these people no shame?
    I have made donations in the past, but no more. Most donors are blissfully unaware how much is going to compensate these individuals. Do any of them think that are truly worth that much? Gheez, I am positive you could find people who would do as good or better running the organization for a fraction of the cost they are paying these folks. Anytime an org (WalMart, Panda Express, etc.) or individual asks me to donate to St Jude’s, I ask them if they are aware of how much the CEO and others in leadership positions are making there and they are just flabbergasted. What a travesty! Obviously, they are not performing their duties out of love, but out of desire for their ridiculously high compensation. I think leaders in these positions should be compensated fairly, but this is beyond the pale. You would think that these people would want the bulk of the money going to help the children, not to line their own pockets.

  17. Barbara Dobry
    Sep 20 2019

    These executives, including Marlo Thomas, should be ashamed of themselves! Of course, they deserve a salary, but what they do receive in compensation is totally outrageous. Their bank of billions of dollars could be well spent by contributing to Children’s hospitals all over the world. I would like to know how do these executives sleep at night????

  18. bob
    Sep 23 2019

    Shameful greedy assholes

  19. Bob
    Sep 23 2019

    Are you kidding me ? Most flagrant fraud I have ever seen.

  20. Doug A
    Oct 2 2019

    who couldn’t see this train wreck coming? Any time keen advertisers pledge that your tiny ($19/mo) donation is “for the children,” know that you’re likely being ripped off! Give to a local church, or a veteran association, not to shameful wealthy fundraising organization who are brilliant at shielding their wealth with small children begging you for money….WOW!

  21. Bob Simmers
    Oct 10 2019

    The salaries are a little below average for the positions and qualifications. I have been in the non-profit world for over 30 years, and if you think you can hire quality people on the cheap just because you’re a non-profit, you are clueless. A million dollar salary for a quality hospital CEO is very reasonable. If you speak with board members of a non-profit hospital the size of St Jude, ask them why they pay so much for executives. The answer is simple: because they have to.
    I have absolutely no connection to St Jude and have never been there.

  22. Oct 10 2019

    The post is NOT just about the salaries at the hospital but ALSO at ALSAC, the fundraising arm which spends $29 to raise $100.

    And, finally it is also important to note it’s not just about the salaries:

    The 990 also reports ALSAC paid for companion travel and health or social club dues or initiation fees (See Schedule J, Part III for more information).And, at St. Jude’s, the organization paid for companion travel and tax indemnification and gross up payments (for more detail see Schedule J, Part III of the 990.  In addition:

    $344,860 was offered to the former CFO under a separation agreement whose terms are confidential.

    Payments were made to five employees under the non-qualified deferred compensation plan during the year:

    Michael C Canarios:  $23,877
    Ching-Hon Pui:  $289,585
    Mary Anna Quinn:  $275,360
    Leslie L Robison:  $286,030
    Elaine I Tuomanen:  $265,433

  23. Nick
    Oct 12 2019

    I think it’s disgusting how much money these executives are making off the backs of children with cancer

  24. Oct 17 2019

    I’m very disappointed that ALSAC greedily keeps that huge amount of money to pay big fat 6 figure-and more salaries. What do they do all day to earn that kind of money? That is outrageous! I’m doing my will, but ALSAC won’t see a penny of it. You’re a bunch of greedy people who outa’ be ashamed. I wouldn’t trust ALSAC with 10 cents. Really! You don’t need that kind of money and you don’t deserve it. Be satisfied and content with a fair salary and give the rest to the patients. Thousands of people would happily do your job for 1/3 of what your earning; or I should say–“receiving”. In my opinion you’re pretty corrupt in a legal way. Shame on you.

    Richard Dumas

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Executive Salaries at St. Jude’s | Paddock Post
  2. Where does your $1 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Go? | Paddock Post

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