SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sanford Health’s golden parachute for its former CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft, is truly lined with gold.

Sanford employees learned Monday the total amount of money paid out to Krabbenhoft following his departure from the health care system in November 2020.

In a letter to employees from current CEO and President Bill Gassen, it was revealed that Krabbenhoft, who stepped down after sending an email making controversial statements about mask use, has been paid a total of $49 million from the health system upon his departure.

IRS documents show that Krabbenhoft’s $49.5 million in compensation came from his salary, incentive-based pay, severance and two lump sum payouts from supplemental executive retirement plans.

Sanford says the compensation was contractually obligated as part of retirement plans over Krabbenhoft’s 24-year tenure.

Gassen told employees Krabbenhoft’s compensation was reviewed annually by a nationally recognized independent firm and outside legal counsel to ensure it was reasonable and competitive.

Nearly a year ago, Krabbenhoft and Sanford agreed to part ways after Krabbenhoft’s email to staff.

“There’s plenty of discussion about masks. I wrote a 200 word letter to my employees and the only sentences that are getting focus are about mask. I’m trying to do my job and focus on the things that really matter. Masks matter. I’ve got one. A lot of other things matter too,” Krabbenhoft said in 2020.

KELOLAND News reached out to Krabbenhoft for comment on his compensation package, and he declined, saying only, “I’m retired and moved on.”