San Antonio, TX – June 20, 2019 – Today at their scheduled June Meeting, CPS Energy’s Board of Trustees conducted their formal annual performance evaluation of the company’s President & CEO, Paula Gold-Williams. The Trustees assessed Gold-Williams’ annual actions and business results, and determined that once again, she effectively led a team of more than 3,000 people, definitively managing over $11.0 billion in assets and $2.8 billion in annual revenues.
Specifically, the Trustees concluded that the CEO increased customer satisfaction over the past two years, and noted that under her strategic leadership, CPS Energy maintained its bond ratings of AA+, Aa1 and AA from Fitch, Moody’s and S&P, respectively. These ratings again placed the company in the top three percent of all utilities, municipal and investor-owned. This translated into very low interest rates on debt that was consistently used to operate the business. The very low interest rates also saved CPS Energy customers millions of dollars.
Personnel Committee Chair Ed Kelley stated, “CPS Energy is a municipally-owned business and Paula is a leader that understands how to balance the community and business needs, while achieving excellent results.”
Gold-Williams, the transformational leader of CPS Energy who has led the company since November of 2015, is a native of San Antonio. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and previously served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from 2008 to 2016. She graduated from San Antonio’s Sam Houston High School, and earned several higher educational credentials, which include an Associate in Fine Arts degree from San Antonio College; an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting from St. Mary’s University; and a masters in Finance and Accounting from Regis University in Denver, CO.
Trustee Kelley went on to say, “Paula is a great leader and her value to the company and our community is evident. In setting the CEO’s compensation, the Board of Trustees considers the experience and level of expertise required for the job. As a foundation of our Board’s assessment process, we engaged Willis Towers Watson, an international consulting firm, which benchmarked the total compensation package. Through the use of the information provided by the consulting firm, we unfortunately concluded that our CEO is paid in the bottom quarter of her peer group, even though she actually performs at a very high level.”
For the period ending January 31, 2019, compensation for Gold-Williams is $916,519 (base of $471,700 and at-risk pay of $444,819) and is often only equivalent to the base pay of her other peer CEOs. Her total compensation includes a base salary, as well as a performance incentive that is at-risk every year. Gold-Williams’ compensation is only three one-hundredths of a penny, or .0003 of each dollar CPS Energy earns annually. With respect to her new base pay, the Board also authorized a merit increase of 3%, or $14,150, making her new base salary $485,850, effective June 1, 2019.
“While our CEO’s total compensation is quite high when compared to the average compensation in our community, it’s not excessive given the weighty responsibilities and complexity of the job,” said Board Chair, John Steen. “In fact, unfortunately she’s paid 70% less than her comparable industry peers. She takes less because she’s highly engaged, values the people she works with, and loves her hometown. Ms. Gold-Williams is a phenomenal leader who’s shining a light on San Antonio’s new-energy opportunities. Collectively, we’re proud that someone born and raised here has become—through perseverance and hard work—a very effective and highly regarded national business leader,” concluded Board Chair John Steen.
Gold-Williams’ specific business metrics were established, refined and measured with the benefit of an additional independent industry consulting firm, ScottMadden®. For this performance year under consideration, Gold-Williams was measured against 13 quantifiable metrics that were challenging, and were designed to promote a culture of accountability and excellence.
Of the CEO’s 13 quantifiable metrics in the CEO’s Balance Scorecard, 11 resulted in either Outstanding or Achieved attainment. Further, they covered a broad range of important categories, including reliability, safety, environmental, and financial stability. If Gold-Williams does not reach challenging quantifiable metrics, as set forth each year, her pay is directly reduced.