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5 highest-paid Eversource execs earned total of $40M last year

August 8, 2020

By Zachary F. Vasile

With Eversource Energy firmly in the spotlight for increasing electricity charges in July and now for its handling of mass power outages in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias, ratepayers and elected officials are scrutinizing the company’s executive salaries and compensation arrangements.

According to a Form 10-K report submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February, Ever-source’s five highest-paid employees earned a combined total of just over $40 million in 2019 in salaries, stock awards, pension value, and incentives.

Jim Judge, who has served as CEO, chairman, and president of Eversource since 2016, netted $19.8 million last year before taxes. Among other various sources, that total amount comes from Judge’s $1.3 million annual salary, $6.6 million in stock awards, another $3 million in incentive pay, and changes in pension value and non-qualified deferred earnings that added up to $8.7 million.

CFO and Executive Vice President Philip J. Lembo earned an annual salary of $680,500, stock awards worth $1.4 million, incentive pay totaling $1 million, and non-qualified deferred earnings of $1.3 million for a total income of $4.4 million.

Werner J. Schweiger, executive vice president and COO, amassed roughly $5.4 million in 2019. Schweiger’s $692,600 annual salary was supplemented by $1.4 million in stock awards, $1 million in incentive pay, and $2.2 million in pension value.

Gregory Butler, who serves as an executive vice president and general counsel of Eversource, collected a total of $5.5 million, according to the Form 10-K. Butler’s annual salary is $643,270, and he pocketed $1.2 million from stock awards, $740,000 from incentive pay, and $2.9 million in pension value and deferred earnings.

Joseph R. Nolan Jr., executive vice president of strategy, customer, and corporate relations, earned the least in salary among the top five, but actually had the second-highest total compensation within the company in 2019. Nolan’s annual salary was $589,600 last year. Adding stock awards worth $1.1 million, incentive pay totaling $774,000, and non-qualified deferred earnings of $3.2 million brought his total income for 2019 up to $5.7 million, however.

The Form 10-K, which lists executive compensation by year, shows that at least some of the five men made substantially more in 2019 than they did in 2018. Judge, for instance, saw his income rise from $14.9 million to $19.8 million, while Butler’s earnings almost doubled, from $2.8 million in 2018 to $5.5 million in 2019.

Last week, Eversource reported second-quarter earnings of $252.2 million, or 75 cents per share, up from $31.5 million, or 10 cents per share, during the corresponding period one year prior, when Eversource absorbed losses from its investment in the scuttled Northern Pass Transmission project. Operating revenues climbed from $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion over the same interval, and operating income surged from $150.9 million to $433.6 million.

Eversource’s electric transmission, electric distribution, natural gas distribution, and water distribution segments — its four main businesses — all finished June with higher earnings on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

In a statement, Judge attributed the spring and summer rebound to reliable service, increased rates, new capital investments, and stringent coronavirus containment strategies in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, which have allowed large commercial end users to restart their operations.

Eversource officials noted that the firm’s total shareholder return has significantly outperformed in both the near- and long-term compared to the Edison Electric Institute’s 40-Company Index and the S&P 500.