Progress Energy may not want to publish exec pay, but some of it's already out there
Am I missing something here with this week's all-aflutter noise out of Tallahassee about the need to disclose -- and the power companies' refusals, so far, to do so -- the compensation of top utility executives? Here's what the St. Petersburg Times published yesterday:
"In their bids to get electric rates increased next year, two of the state's top electric companies said Monday that it's not in the public's interest for them to disclose how much they pay their top executives, according to documents filed with state utility regulators.
"Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy argue that disclosing how much they pay their executives in salaries, stock and bonuses is not necessary for the Public Service Commission to determine whether to allow it to raise rates by as much as 31 percent starting next year."
It's not in the public interest to disclose salaries? Well, let's make this really simple. The Times already published the pay of Progress Energy's Jeff Lyash who, at least until a few weeks ago, was CEO of Progress Energy Florida. (Lyash photo by Cherie Diez of the St. Petersburg Times.) He's since been promoted to the headquarters in Raleigh, N.C.
Here's what Lyash was paid in 2008.
Stock awards: $905,018
Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $225,000
Change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings: $323,904
All other compensation: $140,812
That may not satisfy the Florida Public Service Commission, whose Nancy Argenziano wants a tally of everyone making over $165,000. But the compensation of the $2 million man at the top is public, if you bother to look.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist