SAN RAMON -- Chevron's top boss, John Watson, received 30 percent more in total compensation in fiscal 2012, despite a cut in his bonus after a string of accidents for the energy giant, a regulatory filing Thursday shows.
The company awarded Watson a total compensation package of $32.2 million last year. That was up 30 percent from a total pay package of $24.7 million in fiscal 2011, a proxy filing ahead of the company's annual meeting showed.
"These are big increases," said Corey Rosen, a senior staff member with the Oakland-based National Center for Employee Ownership, which tracks executive and rank-and-file compensation issues.
Watson's pay included a base salary of $1.7 million and a bonus of $3.5 million. His increase was fueled primarily by bumps in stock option awards and stock grants, which together totaled $16.9 million.
"What is good about the current compensation plan at Chevron is when the stockholders do well, the CEO does well also," said Mae Lon Ding, president of Anaheim-based Personnel Systems Associates, which tracks executive pay.
Watson landed $9.8 million in option grants and $7.1 million in stock awards, the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed. Chevron's chief executive also received $9.9 million in pension and other benefits.
"What we are seeing is moderation in salaries and bonuses, but boards are finding ways to make it up with things such as stock options and grants," Rosen said.
Two of the company's executives, Watson and George Kirkland, executive vice president for exploration, development, production and gas operations, harvested windfalls in excess of $10 million for cashing in on previous stock option grants. Watson realized a gain of $12.6 million and Kirkland garnered $12.9 million, the SEC filing shows.
Chevron's board of directors last month decided to cut the bonuses for the CEO and other top executives after a series of mishaps jolted the company, including an August 2012 fire at the company's refinery, a November 2011 oil leak from the ocean floor near Brazil and a January 2012 explosion on a oil rig off the coast of Nigeria that killed two.
Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at Twitter.com/george_avalos.