WEC Energy Group sets pay for Klappa, Farrow

Klappa could receive up to $8 million for 2018 compensation

M7 co-chair Gale Klappa with Louis Woo of Foxconn

Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group Inc. revealed in SEC filings this week the compensation it will provide to new chairman and chief executive officer Gale Klappa and new board member William Farrow III.

Klappa at an MMAC event with Louis Woo of Foxconn

Klappa has served interim and full-time in the role since CEO Allen Leverett, 51, had a stroke in October. Klappa, 67, was chief executive officer of WEC and its predecessor, Wisconsin Energy Corp., from 2004 to May 2016, when Leverett succeeded him.

The board voted Dec. 7 to approve Klappa’s compensation, including $200,000 for the portion of 2017 he served as CEO. In 2018, Klappa will receive a base salary of $1.425 million, and will be eligible for the short-term performance plan. His bonus target under the plan is 120 percent of his base pay, or $1.71 million.

Klappa also will be eligible for the long-term incentive plan, with a target of 342 percent of his base pay, or $4.87 million, to include 80 percent restricted stock and 20 percent stock options. That is expected to be granted in January, and will vest in one year, or if he resigns for “good reason.” Good reason could include “material diminution” of his responsibilities, or the appointment of a successor CEO, the filing said.

Farrow is to replace Paul Jones on the WEC board, effective Jan. 1. WEC indicated the retiring Jones will have the vesting of his unvested shares of restricted stock accelerated to his final day, Dec. 31, “in consideration of his exemplary service and contributions to helping WEC Energy exceed its goals for cost savings and integration post-acquisition of Integrys Energy Group.”

Farrow will be paid an annual cash retainer of $100,000, and an annual restricted stock award of $135,000. All shares will vest in one year.

The board also approved raising the annual restricted stock award for non-executive directors from $125,000 to $135,000 beginning in 2018.

With six utilities serving 4.4 million electric and natural gas customers in four states, WEC Energy Group is one of the largest utilities – and one of the largest corporations – in the country. It has about $30 billion in assets, 8,500 employees and 55,000 stockholders of record.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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