Duke Energy CEO’s pay jumps to $10.8 million

Duke Energy chairman and CEO Lynn Good.
Duke Energy chairman and CEO Lynn Good.

Duke Energy chairman and chief executive Lynn Good’s total pay jumped 30 percent last year to $10.8 million, according to a securities filing Thursday.

A $2.3 million increase in stock awards accounted for much of the increase. Good, who was named CEO and president in 2013, earned total compensation of $8.3 million in 2014.

Good’s $1.2 million salary is only a small part of what she’s likely to earn at Duke, which is the nation’s largest utility by market capitalization.

Incentives that reward her continuing in the job and on meeting company performance measures account for 88 percent of her potential earnings, typically as stock awards that vest over time.

Duke’s directors boosted those incentives in mid-2015 to “recognize her exemplary leadership and performance” as CEO and to match the median pay for CEOs of similar-sized companies such as American Electric Power and Southern Co. Directors increased her long-term incentives, which comprise the bulk of her pay, from a potential 450 percent of her base pay to 600 percent.

The company cited Good’s role in reshuffling Duke’s core businesses, including a sale of Midwestern power plants and the planned acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. Other achievements included doubling the stock dividend’s annual growth rate and expanding renewable energy investments.

Duke reported 2015 year-end earnings of $2.8 billion on $23.5 billion in revenue and has missed analysts’ expectations in recent quarters. In February, Duke announced that it would seek a sale of its international business, which dragged earnings down.

Duke also said it would shed about 900 jobs, most of them in the Carolinas, as part of a cost-cutting initiative. Duke employed about 29,000 people in six states at the end of 2015.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender