New American Airlines CEO could get $15M in stock

CEO who led merger of American, US Airways could get stock worth $15 million at current price

Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- The new CEO of American Airlines will get stock awards worth more than $15 million at Tuesday's share price for the world's biggest airline company.

American Airlines Group Inc. said in a regulatory filing that Doug Parker will get 626,637 shares that begin to vest in December 2015. Half of the shares are contingent on the company hitting a key merger-related target by December 2016 and achieving $1 billion in annual new revenue and cost savings by 2016.

American's shares were up 31 cents to $24.91 Tuesday afternoon, their second day of trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

In the same filing on Monday, American said that former CEO Tom Horton would get about $16.9 million in cash and stock for a severance package. The merger agreement called for $20 million, but a federal judge wouldn't allow American to pay it while it was in bankruptcy. Horton will serve as chairman of the new company until next spring.

In an employee newsletter, Parker said the board of directors would set his annual compensation next month and that it will be tied to performance. He promised to be open about compensation and said that for the next few years, he will seek at least 15 percent less than the amounts given to the CEOs of Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc.

At US Airways, Parker received 2012 compensation valued at $5.5 million, including stock options and $550,000 in base salary. That was a 44 percent jump from his 2011 compensation.

For 2012, United CEO Jeffery Smisek got compensation worth $9.6 million including a salary of $975,000, and Delta CEO Richard Anderson received a $12.6 million package, including a $652,083 salary.

The new American also said that five other top executives who came over from Parker's team at US Airways would get between 268,559 and 447,598 shares of restricted stock. In exchange, they waived their right to quit and receive termination benefits, the company said.

The American-US Airways merger, which became official on Monday, culminated Parker's pursuit of a deal that began shortly after American previous parent company filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011.

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