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SDG&E Says Pay for Its Executives Is 'Below Average'

February 19, 1988|GREG JOHNSON | Times Staff Writer

San Diego Gas & Electric Chairman and President Thomas A. Page's annual compensation rose by 9.1% to $482,375 during 1987, up from $442,042 during 1986, according to figures released Thursday by the utility.

Page's compensation package included a $100,000 bonus for 1987. The utility executive received a $75,000 bonus in 1986. The utility's bonuses are determined by increases in the value of shareholders' stock, reductions in operating and maintenance costs, and reductions in gas and electric rates, an SDG&E spokesman said.

Salaries and bonuses paid during 1987 to other top SDG&E executives included:

Chief Operating Officer Jack Thomas, $256,583, a 6.7% increase over his 1986 salary of $240,500.

Senior Vice President Stephen L. Baum, $200,792, a 3.8% increase over his 1986 salary of $193,375.

Senior Vice President Alton Davis, $189,833, a 2.2% increase over his 1986 salary of $185,792.

Senior Vice President Gary D. Cotton, $172,750, a 3.1% increase over his 1986 salary of $167,500.

As a group, SDG&E's top 16 officers earned $2.6 million in total compensation during 1987. The utility's top 21 executives received $3.2 million in compensation during 1986. During 1987, five SDG&E officers retired, left the company or were transferred to SDG&E's non-regulated Pacific Diversified Capital Co. subsidiary.

SDG&E contends that a recently completed state Public Utilities Commission study determined that SDG&E executive salaries were "actually below the market average" among utility executives. The survey completed by the PUC's Division of Ratepayer Advocates concluded that "SDG&E's top executive salaries were 8.66% below the market average of the 10 largest, revenue-producing electric utilities in the nation," according to an SDG&E spokesman.

The study also determined that Page's salary was 14.9% below the survey average and that Thomas' salary was 31.6% below the average paid to other executives in similar posts, according to SDG&E.

SDG&E's service area includes much of southern Orange County.

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