Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires utilities to report the annual salaries of top executives, ATC has never done so. The company always leaves blank this section of its annual report.
Vice President Mark Williamson says ATC has never been told it must report salary information. "I assume if FERC's got a problem, somebody would tell us."
Though it has divulged salaries in the past - CEO Jose Delgado's salary was reported at $425,000 last year - ATC now refuses to do so. Williamson says company executives feel embarrassed about their salaries because "we're on the low end" compared to the rest of the industry.
Williamson says he made $225,000 in 2006, with a bonus of just under $160,000. He's vague about how his bonus is calculated, saying only that it's tied to the company's performance. And he notes that unlike executives at public companies, ATC's employees do not get stock options.
"Compared to the rest of the industry, I'm dramatically underpaid," says Williamson.
Before you cue the violins, note that he's right. Including salary, bonuses, benefits and stock options, Alliant Energy CEO William Harvey made $5 million in 2006. Gale Klappa, CEO of We Energies in Milwaukee, made $7.9 million. Gary Wolter, the head of Madison Gas & Electric, brought up the rear with $775,000.
Of course, Williamson and his co-workers could catch up if ATC goes public, selling its stock on the market. Whether the company does so, says Williamson, is "up to the board."
And then it's goodbye, paltry salaries.