PG&E: Several execs captured pay raises in 2020, SEC docs show

Several top PG&E executives harvested hefty increases in their pay during 2020, a year in which the company emerged from bankruptcy and was found to have caused a fatal wildfire in Shasta County, a regulatory filing on Thursday shows.

William Smith, who was interim PG&E chief executive officer during 2020, captured $6.17 million in pay, as measured by his total direct compensation, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Smith took over as interim — and temporary — CEO in June 2020.

In January 2021, Patti Poppe took over the CEO post at PG&E, a holding company whose principal operating unit is utility behemoth Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Prior to taking the top executive role at PG&E, Poppe was CEO at Michigan-based CMS Energy, a utility company.

Poppe’s base salary for 2021 is slated to be $1.35 million, the SEC filing stated. The new CEO’s long-term incentive award has a target value of $9.25 million for 2021, according to the SEC document.

In addition, for 2021, the PG&E board granted Poppe a one-time award of restricted stock valued at $31.92 million and a one-time cash award of $6.6 million to replace her annual bonus in 2020 from her former company CMS.

All told, six out of seven top executives with PG&E who were with the company for two or more years corralled major increases in their total direct compensation during 2020, PG&E reported in its annual proxy statement filed with the SEC on Thursday.

Outgoing CEO William Johnson harvested a gain of $1.72 million from the sale of stock options that he had previously been granted.

Interim CEO Smith lassoed a gain of $2.03 million from the sale of stock options, the SEC documents disclosed.

Among the PG&E executives who received higher pay in 2020, as stated in the SEC documents:

— Michael Lewis, interim president of Pacific Gas & Electric Company, the utility unit of holding company PG&E. $2.08 million in 2020, up from $697,200 in 2019.

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— David Thomason, PG&E chief financial officer. $1.53 million in 2020, up from $696,000 in 2019.

— John Simon, PG&E general counsel, and chief ethics & compliance officer. $5.13 million in 2020, up from $1.55 million in 2019. In August 2020, Simon took his current post at the company. In 2019, Simon was an executive vice president for law, strategy & policy at PG&E.

PG&E is attempting to bounce back from a decade of disasters ushered in by a 2010 fatal explosion in San Bruno that killed eight and destroyed a city neighborhood. In 2016, a federal jury convicted PG&E of felonies it committed before and after the explosion.

During the past decade, PG&E was found to have caused a string of catastrophic wildfires, including a deadly blaze in Amador County and Calaveras County in 2015, fatal infernos in the North Bay Wine Country and nearby regions in 2017, and a lethal conflagration in Butte County in 2018 that became California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire.

In 2020, PG&E pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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