By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 13, 2018: A Caribbean CEO in a hurricane ravaged US island has been hired at a salary that has left some in stunned disbelief.
The salary of the new Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) CEO, will be $750,000 a year, according to Caribbean Business. The news comes as the U.S. territory as 1,500 still remain without power in Puerto Rico after last year’s Hurricane Maria and as the island grapples with rebuilding efforts following the storm which devastated its power grid last September.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday said it plans to begin removing mega-generators providing backup power at Puerto Rico’s power plants as soon as next week.
Rafael Díaz Granados, a retired General Electric executive and energy entrepreneur, was appointed Wednesday as CEO during a meeting held by Prepa’s Governing Board, of which he is a member.
He had been appointed by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to a five-year term on July 29, 2017, as an independent member.
The Colombian-born Díaz Granados replaces Walter Higgins III, who resigned Wednesday. Higgins, according to the CaribbeanBusiness.com, was making $400,000 when he stepped down.
The paper and site quoted the president of the Irrigation & Electrical Workers Union, Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, as tweeting: “What brazenness! And what lack of respect for the country and the workers of Prepa. While they take away our rights, they threaten our Health Plan and Retirement System. They grant these salaries never seen in the Government, to the businessmen who want to steal from the country.”
But Prepa said the incoming CEO’s $750,000 a year salary is consistent with the compensation paid to power industry professionals in companies of similar “size, complexity and scope” to the public corporation, it assured.
Prepa revenues amount to $3.2 billion a year.