Enmax exec gets $1.1M bonus pushing total compensation to $2.3M

A top executive at Enmax was paid a $1.1 million bonus in 2015 bringing his total compensation to $2.3 million, according to company documents obtained by CBC News.

Top 5 executive's compensation more than $9M in 2015

Enmax executive Dave Rehn's $1.1 million bonus pushed his total compensation in 2015 to $2.5 million (Pembina/YouTube)

A top executive at Enmax was paid a $1.1 million bonus in 2015 bringing his total compensation to $2.3 million, according to company documents.

In the same period total compensation for the organization's top five executives exceeded $9 million.

Dave Rehn is a vice president at the utility which is fully owned by the city.

Bonus performance-triggered

He was given his bonus for the successful completion of the Shepard Energy Centre, on budget and on time.

The centre is the largest single power plant in the province and the most expensive piece of Calgary infrastructure at $1.4 billion.

Enmax's board chair Greg Melchin says the successful completion of Shepard last spring triggered Rehn's mega-bonus for his many years of work on the project.

"Had that not happened on time, on budget, then that bonus may have not … he may have got zero out of it," Melchin told CBC News Thursday.

"It was entirely at risk. But for exceptional performance, and that's what it was, we were delighted to see that he would be able to be rewarded with that for his eight years work."

Incentives critical

Melchin says in a competitive market for management, incentives are critical for getting the right talent.

"We really needed the right incentives in place for management to execute, to save us from the cost escalation of a $1.4 billion-project becoming a $1.5 to $2 billion-project," he said.

When asked about the optics of such a bonus, Melchin points out Rehn's work is actually benefitting everyone.

"Citizens of Calgary now have the lowest electricity price that they've seen in decades," he said.

For the first time, three top Enmax executives made more than $2 million each last year.

Rehn's bonus pushed his total $2.3 million pay packet past his boss, Enmax CEO Gianna Manes, who earned $2.2 million in salary and bonuses.

Former CEO had lavish parties

Executive compensation at the utility has raised eyebrows in previous years.

Former CEO Gary Holden was paid a package of $2.7 million in 2009 when a CBC investigation found Enmax paid for rock stars to entertain at company parties held at his house.

Holden made a Forbes Magazine Top 10 list for the fifth biggest CEO screw-up that year.

He was terminated without cause in early 2011 and the company committed to changes, including a cut in executive compensation and a commitment to increased disclosure.