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American Airlines CEO was paid $11.1 million in 2016

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker earned $11.1 million in 2016.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker earned $11.1 million in 2016. Star-Telegram

American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker earned $11.1 million last year, even though he did not accept a salary from the Fort Worth-based carrier.

Instead, Parker was given $11 million in stock awards and $140,763 in other compensation such as flight benefits and life insurance premium payments, according to American’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

Parker’s 2016 compensation was down 2.4 percent from what he earned in 2015, when the board changed his compensation to stock awards only.

President Robert Isom earned $6.5 million in 2016, up 6.2 percent, including $641,306 in salary and $4.6 million in stock awards. Isom took over the president’s role after Scott Kirby left American to become president of United Airlines in August. Kirby earned $9.4 million, including a $3.85 million cash severance payment.

Top CEO salaries in North Texas

The Star-Telegram has compiled a list of the highest-paid executives in DFW, based on filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Publicly traded companies must report the salaries, bonuses and stock awards for top executives. The figures here reflect pay for 2016 or the most recent fiscal year for which data is available. The database will be updated when new filings are made.

In 2016, American reported solid profits of $2.68 billion on revenues of $40.18 billion. Its top executives receive stock awards for meeting various performance goals instead of receiving cash bonuses or stock options.

The proxy was filed just days after American announced that it would give its pilots and flight attendants raises of 8 percent and 5 percent on average, respectively, even though the labor groups are in the middle of existing contracts.

In a letter sent to employees, Parker said the pay hikes were “the right thing” to do to bring their compensation in line with pay hikes at rivals Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Both the pilots and flight attendants unions, which had complained for over a year that their pay rates had fallen behind their counterparts at other airlines, approved the pay raises on Monday.

“I welcome management’s recognition that expenses related to labor should be treated as an investment instead of a cost,” said Allied Pilots Association president Dan Carey in a note to members. “After all, there is no one more invested in this airline than our pilots.”

The raises were cheered by employees, but Wall Street investors are not happy with American’s decision to increase labor expenses. Since the raises were announced last Wednesday, shares of American [ticker: AAL] have declined over 9 percent. On Monday, shares closed at $42.08, down 54 cents.

American also announced Monday that it will hold its annual shareholders meeting in New York on June 14.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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