Who are the highest-paid CEOs in the utility sector?

Ilaria Grasso Macola 17 April 2020 (Last Updated April 17th, 2020 15:53)

According to data from the Business Research Company, the utility market will reach a value of $6,146.6bn by 2022, making it one of the biggest sectors in the world. As companies make tens of billions every year, how much are the people leading those companies paid? Power Technology lists the highest-paid CEOs in the utility sector.

Who are the highest-paid CEOs in the utility sector?
With a compensation of $21m, NextEra’s CEO is the highest paid. Credit: Sharon McCutcheon.

1. James Robo – NextEra Energy (US)

James Robo, NextEra Energy’s CEO, is the highest-paid CEO in the top 10 utility companies. Robo, who took the reins of the Florida-based utility in 2012, received a compensation of $21m in 2018.

According to a Yahoo Finance analysis, Robo’s compensation package has been consistently higher than other CEOs in the same market.

The company is the largest in the country, with operating revenue of around $19.2bn in 2019.

 

2. Christopher Crane – Exelon (US)

With a compensation package worth $16m in 2018, Exelon’s CEO Christopher Crane is the second-highest-paid CEO on this list.

Compared to other CEOs working at a similar level in the utility sector, Crane’s compensation has been significantly higher, as reported by an investigation carried out by software company Simply Wall St.

The investigation pointed out that while higher, the CEO’s payment growth has been consistent with Exelon’s improved performance, with earnings per share growing by 14% each year.

 

3. Lynn Good – Duke Energy (US)
Thomas Farrell II – Dominion Energy (US)

Both Lynn Good – Duke Energy’s president and CEO since 2013 – and Thomas Farrell II – who became Dominion’s CEO in 2006 – received a $15m compensation.

Good’s earnings date to 2019 and were revealed in this year’s Duke Energy Compensation Committee report, while Farrell’s date back to 2018.

In the last three years, Good’s remuneration fell from $21.4m in 2017 to $13.9 in 2018.

 

4. Thomas Fanning – Southern Company (US)

In 2018 Southern Company’s CEO Thomas Fanning received a compensation of $13m, including a $1.4m salary.

Yahoo Finance analysed the data from utility companies with a market cap of over $8bn and found that the median for CEO compensation was $12m. According to the analysis Fanning’s earnings are in line with the average.

 

5. José Ignacio Sánchez Galán – Iberdrola (Spain)

With revenue of €36.4bn ($39.6bn) in 2019, Iberdrola is one of the largest electricity utilities in the world. Its CEO, José Ignacio Sánchez Galán, received in 2019 a compensation of €6.2m ($6.7m) – 2.3% increase compared to the previous year.

According to Yahoo Finance’s data analysis, Sánchez Galán’s remuneration is higher than the median CEO earnings in similar companies.

 

6. John Pettigrew – National Grid (UK)

John Pettigrew, National Grid’s CEO since 2016, was paid £4.5m ($5.6m) in the fiscal year ending in March 2019. Compared with the 2018 fiscal year, Pettigrew’s salary increased by £910,000, from £3.6m ($4.5).

According to a Guardian report, Pettigrew’s salary increase was due to his strong performance leading the Fortune 500 company.

 

7. Francesco Starace – Enel (Italy)

With revenue of €80bn ($86.9bn) and 70 million customers around the world, the Italian utility company is one of the biggest ones in Europe both by installed capacity and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

The company’s CEO since 2014, Francesco Starace, received a €5.1m ($5.5m) compensation in 2018, according to Enel’s 2019 Remuneration report.

According to the report, Starace was the company’s highest-paid executive, followed by Enel’s chairman Maria Patrizia Grieco, who received a total of €458,685 ($498,735).

 

8. Isabelle Kocher – Engie (France)
Claire Waysand – Engie

Engie’s former CEO Isabelle Kocher received a remuneration of €2.8m ($3m) in 2018, in line with the average of similar companies.

Following Kocher’s dismissal in February 2020 following months of internal fighting, the company’s board replaced Kocher with former general secretary Claire Waysand.

Waysand’s compensation sum has not been disclosed.

 

9. Jean-Bernard Lévy – EDF (France)

Even though EDF is one of the world’s top five utility companies with revenues amounting to €71bn ($77.2bn) in fiscal year 2019, its CEO Jean-Bernard Levy received the lowest compensation on the list.

Levy’s remuneration was for 2018 was €453,000 ($492,195) and was mainly made up of the CEO’s salary.

A Simply Wall St analysis revealed that the CEO’s earnings were lower compared with those of CEOs leading companies with a market cap over €7.2bn.