April 11, 2017 / 9:54 PM / 3 years ago

Chevron executive pay rises in 2016 on value of pensions

John Watson, Chevron's chairman and CEO, speaks during an interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Compensation for three of Chevron Corp’s (CVX.N) senior leaders, including Chief Executive John Watson, rose last year due to a change in how the value of pensions are calculated.

The disclosure, required by U.S. regulators, comes as the oil industry grapples with low prices and Chevron, the second-largest U.S.-based oil producer, tries to bounce back after posting an annual loss last year, its first since 1987.

Chevron’s shareholders will meet May 31 in Midland, Texas, for a nonbinding vote on the executive payouts. They will also consider resolutions related to climate change, lobbying and corporate governance.

Much of the executive compensation boost was due to the rise in value of pension plans tied partly to Chevron’s stock, which climbed 28 percent last year as oil prices CLc1 increased 47 percent. Age and other factors can effect actuarial calculations of a pension’s value.

Watson, CEO since 2010, saw his compensation rise 12 percent to $24.7 million, fueled largely by the pension value increase. The value of stock and stock options awarded to Watson fell, as did the value of perquisites, including personal use of the company jet and home security. Watson’s salary stayed nearly flat at $1.9 million.

Mike Wirth, head of the company’s midstream division who became vice chairman earlier this year, saw his compensation rise 12 percent to $9.1 million. Wirth’s salary rose but the value of his stock and stock option awards fell. The value of perquisites he received rose due to air travel.

Pat Yarrington, Chevron’s chief financial officer, saw her compensation fall 11 percent to $6.5 million as the value of her pension fell, the only top executive to see a drop in pension value. Yarrington’s salary rose but the value of her stock and stock option awards fell. The value of perquisites Yarrington received slid as she did not record any personal use of the company jet.

Jay Johnson, head of the company’s oil and gas exploration division, saw his compensation rise 5 percent due to an increase in salary, stock options and the value of his pension. The value of perquisites Johnson received dropped by nearly 50 percent due to the cost of a home security system in the prior year.

Watson, Wirth and Johnson took their spouses on a September 2016 trip to Chevron’s liquefied natural gas projects in Australia, costing $2,299, $16,014 and $2,243, respectively.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Tom Brown

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