New CenterPoint CEO said to prioritize shareholders, regulators.
The new CEO of Houston’s CenterPoint Energy will receive a base salary of $1.35 million per year, plus a sign-on equity stock award valued at $1 million, according to news reports.
Lesar took the helm July 1, replacing interim CEO John W. Somerhalder II and former CEO Scott Prochazka. The Houston Business Journal reported this month that Lesar’s base salary slightly exceeds that of Prochazka, which was set at $1.32 million.
The Business Journal also reported that CenterPoint will buy Lesar’s home in Dallas for nearly $1.22 million and pay other expenses related to his move to Houston.
Former CEO Prochazka received a lump sum of nearly $7.35 million in connection with his departure, plus stock benefits, according to the publication.
CenterPoint serves as the primary electric transmission and distribution utility and natural gas utility for Houston, its surrounding areas and for a large swath of the Texas Gulf Coast. CenterPoint also serves millions of utility customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Oklahoma.
Lesar’s appointment caps a recent rough stretch for CenterPoint that includes the departure of executives, a bumpy sale of retail assets and a significant drop in stock prices. On May 7 the company announced it had secured $1.4 billion of equity investment from Elliott Management and other investors.
Although his CEO appointment only became effective this month, Lesar has served on the CenterPoint board of directors since the May equity deal with Elliott. He also chaired a board committee formed then to evaluate possible changes to CenterPoint’s business strategy.
In a recent Q&A interview, Lesar identified his immediate priorities for the company the nurturing of its relationships with both shareholders and regulators.