UPDATE 1-Berkshire's Abel sees 2015 pay surge 48 pct to $40.77 mln
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By Jonathan Stempel
Feb 29 (Reuters) - The energy unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Monday said Gregory Abel, its chairman and chief executive, saw his compensation jump 48 percent last year to $40.77 million, reflecting a large incentive award.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co said Abel, 53, whom many investors view as a potential successor to Buffett as Berkshire's chief executive, was awarded $28 million under a profit-sharing plan tied to the unit's earnings.
Abel also received a $1 million salary and an $11.5 million bonus. His pay package was disclosed in Berkshire Hathaway Energy's annual report. Abel's compensation in 2014 was $27.58 million, including a $12 million incentive award.
The 2015 package makes Abel one of the best paid among U.S. energy executives and Berkshire's 361,270 employees.
It could also be a factor in his staying with Berkshire.
In a letter to shareholders that fueled speculation about Abel's future, Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger called Abel a "world-leading" performer who, in some ways, was a better businessman than Buffett.
"If he's that talented, he could have a host of other, extremely lucrative opportunities outside the company," said Minor Myers, a Brooklyn Law School professor specializing in executive pay. Continued...