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TVA boosts base salary for top managers

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Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press. Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- Since Congress removed the pay cap for employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority seven years ago, the base salary for 155 of the utility's top managers has risen above the $174,000 annual pay given members of Congress.

TVA is shelling out nearly $30 million a year more for its top brass than it did before TVA's board was restructured and the limit on TVA salaries was removed by Congress in 2004.

Despite the extra cost, proponents of the change insist it has helped TVA attract and retain top managers and allowed the federal utility to operate more like a private business.

"For TVA to compete for the best talent with other utilities, it needs to pay competitive salaries and that just wasn't possible in the past," said Dr. Warren Neel, executive director of the Corporate Governance Center at the University of Tennessee, who has served on the boards of 15 publicly traded companies. "For the past decade, TVA has been set up and is operating more like a private company, and I think that leads to better performance."

Read more about this story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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