Hydro One CEO pay capped at $1.5M

BlackburnNews.com file photo.

Hydro One’s new CEO won’t be a “$6 million man.”

Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford said the provincial government has received a proposal from the utility provider that caps its CEO compensation at $1.5 million per year.

That annual cap includes $500,000 in base salary with performance-based bonuses making up the rest of the pay. According to a release from the province, that means the “actual compensation could be lower than $1.5 million if targets are not met.”

The last CEO of Hydro One, Mayo Schmidt, retired after coming to an agreement with the Ontario government in July. Before leaving the company, he was dubbed the “$6 million man” by Premier Doug Ford due to his annual salary and bonuses.

Rickford said he is “pleased” with the compensation framework provided by the Hydro One Board of Directors, which follows a rejected proposal put forward last month that would have capped Hydro One’s CEO compensation at a little over $2.7 million. At that time, Rickford and the Ford government held firm to a demand that the pay for the new CEO should not exceed $1.5 million.

“Hydro One’s compliance with this directive allows us to move forward as a province,” said Rickford. “It sets the company on the right course for the future, proving that it can operate as a top-class electricity utility while reining in executive compensation and increasing public transparency.”

The compensation framework provided by the Hydro One Board of Directors also ensures that other newly appointed senior executives can earn no more than 75 per cent of the CEO’s pay and that their base and performance bonus pay structure will be consistent with the CEO. Directors on the Board will earn $80,000, committee chairs will earn $85,000, and the chair of the board will earn $120,000.

The performance bonuses outlined in the pay package are also tied to reducing system costs, which Rickford said supports the province’s commitment to reducing Ontarians’ electricity rates by 12 per cent.