The Tennessee Valley Authority boosted compensation for its top officers in fiscal 2012 to a record high despite a federal pay freeze, reports the Chattanooga TFP. Tom Kilgore, TVA’s chief executive who is retiring at the end of the year, was paid more than $4 million in total compensation in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Kilgore has headed the nation’s biggest government utility for the past six years and is one of the highest paid federal workers in America.
Kilgore’s total pay for salary, benefits and pension was more than 10 times the $400,000 salary paid to President Barack Obama. But a study by pay consultants Towers Perrin found that Kilgore is paid the least among CEOs at 14 comparable investor-owned electric utilities and Kilgore’s compensation ranked ninth among the heads of 11 comparably sized, nonenergy companies in Tennessee.
Kilgore’s salary was down slightly from the previous year. But his performance bonuses and deferred retirement benefits boosted his overall compensation in 2012 by nearly 2 percent above the year-ago total.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board has chosen a former energy chief from North Carolina, who was ousted from his previous company earlier this year, to succeed retiring Tom Kilgore as the chief executive of the nation’s largest public utility.
Bill Johnson was CEO of Progress Energy and had been slated to lead Duke Energy when the two companies combined to form the nation’s largest investor-owned utility in July. But within hours of the merger Johnson was out, replaced by Jim Rogers, who had been Duke’s CEO but was slated to become executive chairman.
The surprise ouster has prompted North Carolina’s utility regulator to investigate whether the state and public were misled during the merger approval process.
At a news conference in Knoxville on Monday, TVA Board Chairman Bill Sansom expressed total confidence in the board’s choice of leadership. He said the board was unanimous in its support for Johnson.
A day after TVA’s chief executive said he is stepping down, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker warned Friday that the board that will pick a new TVA head includes too many directors without corporate experience or the financial skills to oversee a complex agency like TVA.
More from the Chattanooga Times-Free Press: “As you look at TVA today as an $11 billion-a-year company with tremendous challenges, it has a board of directors with the qualifications that I think would cause most Tennesseans to be very concerned,” Corker said. “We have only one person on the board, to my knowledge, who even has any corporate board experience.”
Currently, only six of the nine seats on TVA’s board are filled and, unless Congress acts to confirm new members, the TVA board could shrink to only four members and lack a quorum by the end of the year.
Corker said he personally likes the members of the TVA board. But he said too many directors were appointed based upon geographic or partisan politics, not the person’s experience and skills to oversee America’s biggest government utility. Corker said in he past one TVA director admitted he didn’t know what was a “P&L statement” of profits and losses.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said in a statement Friday that he agrees with Corker that “the new governance structure [adopted for TVA in 2004] has not worked out as well as I had hoped.
“But I believe it can work if the president will nominate well-qualified board members who then pick a strong chief executive and allow that executive plenty of latitude to lead TVA,” Alexander said.
Members of the TVA board are appointed for five-year terms by the president and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The board must hire a new chief executive by the end of the year to replace Tom Kilgore, the 64-year-old engineer who announced his retirement Thursday after six years as TVA’s top officer.
President Barack Obama has nominated another financial expert to serve on the TVA board — Hilliard Lyons Financial Services Chairman Peter Mahurin of Kentucky — but the U.S. Senate has yet to confirm the appointment.
The terms of three retired bankers — Dennis Bottorff, of Nashville, Mike Duncan of Kentucky and Tom Gilliland of Blairsville, Ga., — ended last December.
Only TVA Chairman Bill Sansom now is qualified to meet federal regulations for TVA’s audit committee. Sansom, a former member of then Gov. Lamar Alexander’s cabinet, has served on several corporate boards, including First Tennessee Bank and Astec Industries in Chattanooga.
…Former TVA Chairman Craven Crowell, a Democrat who also worked on Capital Hill, said the qualifications of board members should have been better described in the reforms Congress adopted to replace the original three-member full-time TVA board with its current nine-member, part-time board.
“When the board was enlarged there were no congressional hearings to consider the unintended consequences of the change,” he said. “We ended up with a major restructuring of the board without any requirement for a balance of experience and politics on the board and with part-time board members who don’t always have the time for the steep learning curve involved with leading TVA.”
— Note: TVA’s part-time board served as a model for Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislation transforming the Tennessee Regulatory Authority from having full-time directors and no executive director to a part-time board with a full-time executive director.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Electricity rates for Tennessee Valley Authority customers in seven states will not be increased in the coming fiscal year.
TVA’s board of directors voted Thursday to approve an $11.2 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins Oc.t 1 and does not include any rate hikes.
The federal utility provides electricity to 9 million people in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
TVA chief executive officer Tom Kilgore also announced at the meeting that he will be retiring.
TVA’s board of directors appointed Kilgore as CEO in 2006. Kilgore, who said he was in the fourth quarter of life and wanted to pursue other things, said he preferred to leave in four to six months but would wait until the board appoints his successor.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — One day after the Tennessee Valley Authority board extended a pay freeze for a second year, a report shows TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore’s compensation increased by $352,000 in fiscal 2011, to $3.95 million.
A TVA filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows compensation increased for all five of its top executives.
Kilgore is one of the highest paid federal employees in the United States.
A TVA spokesman said Thursday after the board extended the pay freeze for fiscal 2012 that the SEC filing could show increases in long term pension and some other compensation.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that TVA Personnel Vice President Janet Heron said Friday that the nation’s largest public utility tries to “provide a competitive compensation package that rewards performance.” (http://bit.ly/snhoab )