Executive compensation was on the table at Vectren’s annual shareholder meeting this month.

In addition to electing the board of directors and appointing an accounting firm, Vectren shareholders cast ballots on a resolution for the top executives’ pay – if a planned merger between Vectren and CenterPoint Energy is approved.

In public documents obtained by Eyewitness News, the terms of the “change in control” are outlined, including potential financial payments to Vectren’s top four executives.

As part of the agreement, current Vectren Chief Executive Officer Carl Chapman’s employment will terminate upon the close of the deal. Shareholders voted to approve Chapman’s final compensation package – totaling approximately $31.9 million. The package includes performance-based pay, stock awards, deferred compensation and annual salary.

In addition to Chapman’s compensation, the document outlines potential payments to three other top executives should their employment end with the merger. The approximate payouts are as follows:

Susan Hardwick, EVP & Chief Financial Officer – $6.1 million

Eric Schach, EVP & Chief Operating Officer – $7.2 million

Ronald Christian, EVP & Chief Legal & External Affairs Officer – $9.4 million

The companies are assembling an integration team which will be centered in Evansville. That team will determine what positions will be retained in the new corporation.

Vectren stated its board of directors – of which Chapman is not a member – works with an independent compensation consultant to determine executive pay. Compensation is based on industry norms, company performance and comparative pay structures.

As we reported previously, if the merger is approved by federal regulators and shareholders, the main headquarters will move to Houston, Texas. However, the combined natural gas operations and Indiana electric operations will retain a headquarters in Evansville.

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(This story was originally published on May 29, 2018)