Pay gap widens at Schlumberger

While the average pay for employees of Schlumberger slipped in 2019, the amount of executive compensation rose including for the company leader who retired seven months into the year.

The Houston Business Journal explored the pay gap issue and its median employees, including those in the Oklahoma operations. It found Paal Kibsgaard, who gave up his post at the top of the C-suite on Aug. 1, made $22.25 million in cash, equity awards and other forms of compensation during 2019. That’s an increase of more than $6 million compared to his total compensation for 2018, according to the company’s latest proxy statement, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 21.

Meanwhile, Schlumberger’s median employee — a field engineer working in Colombia — made about $71,000 in 2019, down from about $75,000 in 2018, according to the proxy. The decline was due at least in part to a less favorable exchange rate between Colombian pesos and U.S. dollars during the year.

All of that adds up to Kibsgaard making 313 times more than his median employee for seven months of work as CEO plus five months providing “certain services” to the company, which he will continue to do for the three years following his retirement. For those three years, he will draw a $2 million annual salary.

Olivier Le Peuch, Schlumberger’s new CEO, made $19.12 million in 2019, which includes $10.5 million in stock award associated with his promotion, according to the proxy. That’s about 269 times the median employee’s compensation, still higher than Kibsgaard’s 216-to-1 ratio from 2018.

Kibsgaard spent more than 22 years with Schlumberger, including eight as CEO and four as chairman. His base salary has been $2 million per year since at least 2016. In addition to stepping down from the CEO role, Kibsgaard’s retirement also included turning over his chairman role to Mark Papa, another director on the board.

Schlumberger has primary offices in Houston, Paris, London and The Hague and major operations through Oklahoma with offices in Yukon and along I-40 in Oklahoma City.

Source: Houston Business Journal