HEI CEO Lau earned $2.7M pay package in 2015 | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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HEI CEO Lau earned $2.7M pay package in 2015

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / DEC. 2014

    Connie Lau, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., received total compensation of $2.7 million in 2015, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Connie Lau, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., received total compensation of $2.7 million in 2015, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

HEI reported Tuesday the salaries of five top executives. Publicly traded companies typically file documents with the SEC during the spring that detail compensation for their top executives and directors.

Lau’s 2015 salary was less than half of what she earned in 2014 when she made $5.6 million. Her pay package for 2015 is her lowest compensation since 2007 when she earned $1.7 million.

In 2014 Lau ranked second on the list of highest-paid executives in Hawaii. Lau had topped the list of highest-paid Hawaii CEOs for three years in a row before Peter Ho, chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Hawaii, overtook her in 2014.

James Ajello, HEI executive vice president and chief financial officer, made $1.5 million in 2015 compared with $2 million in 2014.

Chet Richardson, HEI executive vice president and general counsel, made $1 million in 2015 down from $1.5 million in 2014.

The top executive of HEI’s electric utility subsidiary, Hawaiian Electric Co. President Alan Oshima, received a pay package of $1.4 million compared with $1.1 million in 2014.

Richard Wacker, president and CEO of HEI subsidiary American Savings Bank, received $1.4 million compared with $1.8 million in 2014.

The state Public Utilities Commission is currently reviewing NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion purchase of HEI. The transaction needs PUC approval to close.

If NextEra successfully purchased HEI by the end of 2015, Lau would have walked away with $12.3 million, according to the filing. She would have received $10.1 million if her job was terminated with the change in control and $2.2 million for a retirement payment.

In the filing, HEI announced its annual shareholder meeting will be held on May 4 at 10 a.m. on the eighth floor of the American Savings Bank Tower.

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  • Before the wannabe whiners show up, allow me to say well done, who would not have wanted to have the opportunity to work hard and earn money. All the effort from high school and up resulted in a good year. That’s what it takes, hard and smart work, effort and many do not want to pay the price, they’ll just post here and complain. Bravo!

    • I am not totally disputing what you are saying but most of it is from being in the right place at the right time, making good decisions and lucky decisions as well. There are thousands here on the island that could have a done a better job than her or at least as good. Kinda hard to screw up when you run a monopoly and have a bunch of sheep in the PUC.

      • Exactly. The next time you open up your monthly electric bill, think about Connie Lau and her outrageous compensation package for running basically a monopoly with a captive audience.

      • Very true. In Hawaii, there seems to be a golden circle of those favored. She is widely thought to be a less than mediocre executive but continues to be reappointed to huge salaries. HEI is easy to run as a monopoly. Remember these salaries as you pay the highest electric bills in America.

    • Shut up, Mr. Lau. The bottom line is that she can’t justify that money earned….until customers are happy and all else is transparent and ALL solar applications move forward with speed, that amount of money cannot be justified in this case. I’m all for good schooling, working hard to get “there”, but in this case…..PFFT.

  • Wow. Connie Lau’s pay for 2015 was less than half of her pay the year before. Maybe it’s because she’s getting older. She can’t run as fast as before on that treadmill in the HEI office that generates the electricity, so they had to cut her salary to hire more treadmill runners.

  • If they had updated the grid she would have made more money for the shareholders she is beholden. Netflix knows the potential yet HECO has done nothing.

  • i earned low 5 figures last year and still owed federal tax. 5 figures, and im barely keeping my nose above water. working 6-7 days a week to maintain that salary level, and fighting to stay relevant. as a single parent ts scary, i dont know how other people with income under $50k are making ends meet in Hawaii

    • Perhaps you ought to have gone to Stanford and Wharton. I’m earning more in retirement because I busted my but at Berkeley when I was younger. Stop whining..

      • You’re from a different era and probably don’t get out much. Nowadays there are a lot of college graduates out there who also “busted their butt”. They worked and studied hard and have degrees from universities more prestigious than yours and have menial jobs. Consider yourself fortunate.

        • Totally agree with you Geb. Although CelloDad has indeed been able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, others who also have worked as hard or perhaps even harder, may not have been in the right place at the right time or fate wasn’t as kind. CelloDad’s comments are as shallow as his ability to spell “butt” correctly.

  • From what I’m told,our Electric Grid is woefully incapable of withstanding any kind of EMP attack or major X-class solar flare from the sun. We cannot solely rely on the military being able to shoot down an enemy EMP device and there isn’t a way to defend against an X-class solar flare, unless you hardened the grid. Yet, EHI can afford to pay these executives all this loot for running a monopoly on an island. How about investing some of that money, hardening your infrastructure ?

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