December 02, 2016 01:17 PM
The Public Service Company of New Mexico hiked customer rates in October, and now they want to do it again amidst recent federal filings showing the public utility desperately needs help. However, it wasn't that long ago PNM assured people they were doing well enough to hike the salary of its own CEO.
After a year that saw the CEO's salary going up, another executive is getting the ax.
It's a company trying to figure things out. CEO Pat Collawn is still the highest paid executive in New Mexico and received raises based on her performance in 2015 even though the company turned around and justified raising customer rates based on decreased revenue.
In August 2015, the public utility company asked the state if they could raise rates 14 percent, citing economic troubles and decreased revenue. Three months earlier, Collawn received a base pay increase of 16 percent.
With her bonus pay in 2015, she makes $1,640,100 a year. Factor in her stock awards worth more than $3 million, Collawn raked in $5.2 million before PNM asked to hike customer rates.
A whole year later, PNM got a bit of a talking-to about its rate hike request. The state called out the utility for being "imprudent" about some of its leases in August 2016, and soon after awarded them half the rate increase they requested.
Collawn's compensation reflects her management of PNM and PNM Resources, an umbrella for subsidiaries and operations in other states. While the company says her pay is tied "directly to performance," filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in November show PNM Resources revenues are down across the board from 2015 to 2016.
As a cost-saving measure, PNM recently notified the SEC that the company's chief operating officer Robert Talbot has been axed, along with his $3 million salary. The filing said his duties will be re-assigned to other executives.
PNM spokesman Dan Ware is still working to break down the company's revenue and debt figures as well provide an explanation for Collawn's compensation despite a loss in revenue. Ware said Thursday night the CEO's performance is based on more than just increased revenue.
Updated: December 02, 2016 01:17 PM
Created: December 01, 2016 09:00 PM
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