Ventas Cuts C-Suite Salaries, 25 Percent of Corporate Jobs to Soften Blow of COVID-19

CHICAGO — Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR), a Chicago-based REIT and one of the largest owners of seniors housing in the United States, has adjusted its corporate cost structure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the company.

In mid-June, Ventas plans to eliminate roles representing over 25 percent of its corporate positions, excluding onsite field personnel, according to a May 27 SEC filing. In addition, for the second half of 2020, the company will reduce the base salary of CEO Deb Cafaro by 20 percent, while reducing the salaries of other executive officers by 10 percent.

As a result of these actions, Ventas predicts third-quarter selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses will be $25 million to $30 million lower than during the same period in 2019.

The move is a continuation of Ventas’ initiatives to conserve capital as the pandemic drives expenses up and revenues down. Though the company reported $3.2 billion in cash on hand during its first-quarter report issued in May, Ventas plans reduce capital expenditures this year by between $300 million and $500 million. The company has paused construction, offered rent deferrals to struggling communities and issuing free COVID-19 tests to its operators.

Like most companies in the sector, Ventas has taken a hit to its stock price as a result of the pandemic. The company saw its share price drop from $63.05 on Feb. 24 to $16.97 on March 18 before leveling out around $30 per share.

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