Progress Energy CEO eligible for $8 million in compensation

The Charlotte ObserverJanuary 13, 2011 

Progress Energy chief executive Bill Johnson would be eligible for nearly $8 million in pay when he becomes CEO of the combined Duke Energy and Progress Energy.

If the merger is approved, Johnson, 57, will make a base salary of $1.1 million, according to the company's regulatory filings. He also would be eligible for incentive compensation worth up to about $6.9 million, and various other perks under Duke's compensation policy, including use of the corporate aircraft. He also would be reimbursed for expenses related to his relocation to Charlotte, where the combined company would be based.

Johnson earned $5.3 million in 2009. The Observer counts salary, bonus, gains on exercised options, restricted stock awards and other pay, such as perks, when calculating executive compensation.

Charlotte-based Duke Energy announced Monday that it plans to buy Raleigh-based Progress Energy, making it the largest utility in the U.S. The deal still needs approval of regulators and both companies' shareholders.

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who would become executive chairman of the combined company, would keep his existing compensation terms through Dec. 31, 2013, the companies wrote.

Rogers has had an unusual compensation agreement since he became Duke's CEO in 2006. The company has never paid him a salary or a bonus; almost all of his compensation is in the form of stock awards. It's an arrangement that's been praised by shareholder activists, because it ties the CEO's pay directly to the fortunes of shareholders.

It has also made Rogers the largest individual shareholder of Duke Energy. With his wife, he owns about 2 million shares, according to a February 2010 regulatory filing. That is about 0.15 percent of the company's total shares.

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