SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Pacific Gas & Electric’s new CEO is set to make $3 million on his first day on the job Wednesday.
Bill Johnson was tapped to become the utility’s new executive, according to a regulatory filing.
He’s set to receive a one-time payment of $3 million on his first day, that’s on top of his $2.5 million base pay. That figure doesn’t include stock options.
PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January in the face of billions of dollars in potential liability from huge wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018, including the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century. That blaze in November 2018 killed 86 people and destroyed most of the town of Paradise.
In March, PG&E asked a judge to allow it to pay $235 million in 2019 bonuses to thousands of employees despite its bankruptcy filing.
The utility scrapped its plan to pay $130 million in bonuses for 2018, determining the payments were inappropriate given the wildfires that year and the company’s deteriorating financial situation. Attorneys for wildfire victims had objected to the awards.
An employee union argued that the decision was unfair to workers.
PG&E said bonuses have historically constituted 6 to 20 percent of employees’ pay and brought their total compensation “in line with the market and their peers in the utility space.”
Roughly 10,000 employees are eligible for a bonus this year. They include people with titles such as manager or vice president, but not top level executives who control company policy or report to the board of directors, PG&E said in its court filing.