Letter: Why does Duke Energy’s $20 million CEO receive salary boost after a disaster?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2018

In the middle of 2013, Lynn Good became the CEO of Duke Energy. About a year later, the coal ash catastrophe took place. As of 2015, Ms. Good was making over $10 million a year. By 2017, her compensation rose to over $21 million a year.

I never knew having an environmental disaster on your watch could pay so well. I’m in the wrong business.

By the way, how much is $20 million per year exactly? It is something like this. In the old days, we would work eight hours a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year, with two weeks off for vacation. That means we worked about 2,000 hours a year. In order to make $1 million for 2,000 hours worked, we’d need to be paid $500 an hour. The CEO of Duke Energy made $20 million.

That comes to $10,000 an hour. What N.C. school teachers make in a year, this CEO makes on her first day by 1 p.m., just in time for a late lunch. And to add insult to injury, Duke Energy has been granted a rate increase. Duke could quadruple its rates and this lady probably wouldn’t even blink. As for the rest of us living in the real world, we feel every percentage point.

You should have a pretty good reason to raise prices for a product on which so many people rely. Raising them for past screw-ups is not one of them.

— Allan Gilmour